Microsoft Teams Community Blog articles Microsoft Teams Community Blog articles Sat, 23 Oct 2021 14:29:48 GMT MicrosoftTeamsCommunityBlog 2021-10-23T14:29:48Z From Zero to Hero: Enabling teachers and students for hybrid learning <P>I want to tell you a story, my story. It’s the story of a grown-up student who became a teacher during the past 18 months. But it’s also the story about a school and their teachers who had to find a way to teach their students remotely and to ensure that every student got the best options to learn and to develop his or her personal strengths.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H2><STRONG>May 2020 – We face an unknown challenge</STRONG></H2> <P>I remember spring last year. We all had to change our life due to the dangerous situation with covid-19 and maybe some of us thought that it will end after a few weeks. In March, there was the first lockdown in Germany and schools had to close as well as many companies and nobody knew that this was only the first one. A few weeks later, one of my previous teachers asked for help as he knew about my expertise in Microsoft products and especially Microsoft Teams. The teachers of this school heard about the education edition of Microsoft Teams before but didn’t try it before. They were only using the Microsoft Office products like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. I wanted to help my school and I had a series of Teams meetings with a group of dedicated teachers and their headmaster. These meetings were an important first step to talk about the current challenges for the teachers as they needed to find a way to teach their students from home. I explained how to use Microsoft Teams for online lessons, and I presented the available options of this tool. This was a good starting point for the teachers to explore the tool by their own.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Library1.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Library1.png" alt="Library1.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>July 2020 – What can we do to prepare for the upcoming school year?</STRONG></P> <P>But it was not so easy to change the teaching methods from one day to another. More than the half of the staff didn’t feel comfortable in the new world. I was lucky to find one teacher who loved the new options and he told me that he created a team room for his class. He was using the class notebook to share information with his students and he was also managing the homework with this notebook. He was my first key user and we had a brainstorming how to involve his colleagues.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>I was convinced that the other teachers need both; a training for the tool itself and (and this is more important as you may guess) real-life use cases. And this was the point where I needed my key user as he spoke the right “language” and was familiar with the tool. We planned a series of training modules starting with using chat and meetings up to managing a virtual class with a team room.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>The trainings took place at my company’s office in a large meeting room but we were there together and for these trainings my teachers became students and learned everything they need for the next school year. This was the last week before summer holidays and now every teacher could decide on his own if he want to practice a little bit during summer.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Lockers2.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Lockers2.png" alt="Lockers2.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>August 2020 – We do a restart</STRONG></P> <P>The next school year started in August and for the first two weeks everything seemed like before covid-19. We didn’t know about it, but the next lockdown was waiting for us and with this challenges like homeschooling or hybrid remote schooling came up again. Most of the teachers now had an idea of using Microsoft Teams to face these challenges but standards (e. g. for naming of team rooms) were missing. It seemed not to be so important as online lessons were going well and the teachers accessed their students.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Library 2.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Library 2.png" alt="Library 2.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>October 2020 – A short recap</STRONG></P> <P>Every year in autumn, schools are closed for two weeks in Germany and this was the time where we did a short recap of the current situation. The teachers told me that they were not only using team rooms for their classes, but also to exchange information between each other (e. g. the English teachers had their own team room to discuss the upcoming topics and the used methods for their classes). And they also created checklists together with their students. These checklists were the new rules how to work together and they contained aspects like</P> <UL> <LI>… devices (students without any devices where the first ones who got devices from school)</LI> <LI>… using the camera (so that everybody could see each other)</LI> <LI>… using the mute function and raising hands (as you would do this on-site)</LI> </UL> <P>I was impressed by the engagement of students and teachers and I was looking for something where I could help to go one step further. I recognized some differences using team rooms and for me it seemed as it depends on the grade if a team room was used for all subjects of a class or if a team room is only used for a single subject. There were also differences in naming the team rooms; some teachers added the school year as some kind of prefix and some teachers added the name of the primary teacher of the class to the team room name. I mentioned this in a call with the headmaster and we discussed how to implement some governance rules (no later than the begin of the next school year). We would work on these rules for the following months to make it as easy as possible for everyone.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Students.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Students.png" alt="Students.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>January 2021 – Let’s try to build a first digital form</STRONG></P> <P>Overall, it was a successful rollout of a digital tool for remote learning and we wanted to get feedback about what to improve. The first key user was not staying alone for a long time. We found more teachers who liked the new digital tools and wanted to improve their daily business. At the end of 2020 they created a survey with Microsoft Forms to ask their students what they are thinking about homeschooling with Microsoft Teams and what can be improved. They feedback was good, and they also got a lot of ideas what can be changed next.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>One repeating aspect in the received feedback was about all the paper-based processes (e. g. to select optional subjects for the next school year). We did two half-day workshops with teachers interested in building these solutions. They learned how to</P> <UL> <LI>build a mobile app with PowerApps</LI> <LI>create and extend workflows with Power Automate</LI> <LI>create forms or surveys with Microsoft Forms</LI> </UL> <P>We used real-life use cases of the school and at the end of these two workshops we had the first solutions ready.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Students 2.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Students 2.png" alt="Students 2.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>April 2021 – We are digital</STRONG></P> <P>After these workshops the teachers where building more solutions and they explained their students how to handle these tools. They had a lot of fun while building more and more solutions and after two or three months most of the paper-based processes now have a digital solution.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Library3.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Library3.png" alt="Library3.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>August 2021 – The first school year with a prepared hybrid learning model</STRONG></P> <P>2020 to 2021 has been an exciting school year for teachers and students, and I am grateful that I was able to help my school. But we didn’t want it to end here. We hope that covid-19 will not have such a deep impact on the daily life in the future as it had during the past months, but we don’t think that we will come back completely to the world before 2020. That’s why we used the past summer holidays to think about a hybrid learning model.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Maybe, you are asking: “What do you mean when you talk about hybrid learning?”. That’s a situation where…</P> <UL> <LI>… some students are learning from home while other students are sitting in the classroom at school.</LI> <LI>… the teacher must handle remote students via a Teams meeting at the same time as the students who are in the same room with him.</LI> <LI>… all learning material must exist in a digital format to be available for every student.</LI> </UL> <P>Managing the digital learning material is the easiest part. The teachers learned this lesson during the past school year. They learned how to support each other and to collect learning material for the different subjects. That’s an evolution as they now share the information and don’t need to create content by their own if it’s already created by a colleague.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>The situation with the mix of on-site and remote students is the biggest challenge as teachers are only used in on-site teaching and they did online lessons only if they had no other chance. But why didn’t they do this before? In most cases, they were not familiar with technical options and didn’t feel comfortable with this situation. I helped with personal trainings (one-to-one):</P> <UL> <LI>They learned how to speak to remote attendees by using the camera without forgetting to let their eyes wander in the room.</LI> <LI>We discussed how to use tools like a digital whiteboard so that every student could see what’s going on.</LI> <LI>We talked about the needed technical equipment in their classroom. In a few cases there was something missing, so I had to talk to the headmaster.</LI> </UL> <P>About 30 percent of the teachers used my offering. The others told me that they feel prepared for the challenge of hybrid learning/teaching. As you may know, it’s not allowed in Germany to decide if you want to go to school or not. But due to covid-19 and constantly changing rules my school is now prepared for all challenges which may show up and I will continue to accompany them.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Lockers.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Lockers.png" alt="Lockers.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><EM>Nicole Enders is a Teams MVP, Modern Workplace and Collaboration Expert and she works at CONET Solutions GmbH as a Managing Consultant. As a MVP for Office Apps &amp; Services she shares her knowledge at many events, on her own blog as well as in her books.</EM></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><EM>As a consultant and developer, she has been dealing with the requirements for efficient collaboration in companies since more than 14 years. She is convinced of the advantages that Microsoft 365 (especially Microsoft Teams and the Power Platform) offers to improve collaboration.</EM></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><EM>To write your own blog on a topic of interest as a guest blogger in the Microsoft Teams Community, please submit your idea here:&nbsp;</EM><SPAN><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><EM></EM></A></SPAN><EM>&nbsp;</EM></P> Wed, 29 Sep 2021 15:28:55 GMT Nicole_Enders 2021-09-29T15:28:55Z Microsoft Teams - Empowering Collaboration <P>Collaboration in today’s world is evolving at a rapid pace and innovation is multi folding to connect people better than ever before. In this era of Pandemic, organizations are taking a leap in adopting cloud solutions to enable work from anywhere and ensuring their employees wellbeing. This global situation brought new Business Continuity Plans, where companies are forced to allow work03+6 from home and allow usage of personal devices to minimize human interactions and business interruptions. This is our a new normal. This created new challenges with respect to collaboration and work life balance. Microsoft Teams has been a revolution in making collaboration simple and empower organizations is keeping track of employee’s well-being. Microsoft Teams acts as a hub of Microsoft 365 services that can hold complex LOB applications and integrations.</P> <H2><BR /><STRONG>Canopy of Collaboration &amp; Communication</STRONG></H2> <P>Over the past couple of decades, there have been a significant number of changes &amp; Enhancements in collaboration platforms, where customers across multiple markets have adopted SharePoint. Back then Collaboration &amp; communication were treated as two separate platforms. But The Change is now. After a rigorous Research &amp; development, Microsoft has emerged with a new platform where Microsoft teams &amp; SharePoint are acting as focal points to connect millions of people by aiding advanced enterprise content management and rich social features.</P> <P><BR />Microsoft Teams delivers in three core areas: Communication, Collaboration &amp; Customization. Chat and calling, hosting Meetings, collaborate on documents, managing projects &amp; work groups, Storing &amp; sharing files, integration of business applications are some of the main features supported by deep integrations of M365 services with MS Teams. It is prominent to understand the differences between Teams vs SharePoint online sites, and Teams channel VS SharePoint Document libraries.</P> <H2><BR /><STRONG>MS TEAMS Maturity Curve</STRONG></H2> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="maturity curve.png" style="width: 474px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="maturity curve.png" alt="maturity curve.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>It is important to absorb MS Teams in a phase wise manner. MS Teams Maturity curve can be classified in four phases; <STRONG>Basics, Consistency &amp; Familiarity, Simplification, Modernization</STRONG>.</P> <P><BR />Organizations consider <STRONG>Basic</STRONG> Communication (Chatting, calling &amp; meeting) as a starting point. They must be using Skype for business or other applications for communication and would like to start their journey with MS Teams by having a co-existence mode with overlapping features to understand MS Teams better and have no disruption in communication. Slowly they slip into the phase of <STRONG>Consistency &amp; Familiarity</STRONG>.</P> <P><BR /><STRONG>Consistency &amp; Familiarity</STRONG> is considered as a foundation for adopting process flows, automations &amp; LOB application integrations with MS Teams. Microsoft provides multiple in-house applications that can be easily integrated to encourage end users get familiarized with Microsoft teams. We shall see some real-life examples that make our life at work easy by using few applications like Task by planner, MS lists &amp; Shifts.</P> <P><BR />Remember <STRONG>“What you see is What you get”</STRONG></P> <P><BR />While slipping into <STRONG>Simplification</STRONG> phase, companies should look forward to simplify their monotonous processes. While MS Teams acts as a hosting platform, Power Platform will play a catalytic role. This helps us to come up with some innovative ideas and implement best automation using power automate and integrate process with MS Teams and other M365 services.</P> <P><BR />Attaining <STRONG>Modernization</STRONG> requires a +collective exercise of first three phases where organization and employees will be changing their course of work and also access applications from anywhere. Complex LOB applications can be blended to MS Teams by using Power Apps or Power BI. Also, we can make use of Microsoft Bot framework, SharePoint Framework (SPFx), GitHub, Microsoft Graph, Visual Studio Code to build custom applications on MS Teams to meet your unique requirements.</P> <H2><BR /><STRONG>Task by planner and To Do</STRONG></H2> <P>It is very much important for a project manager to stay organized and keep his team updated with daily tasks. Almost every time he/she uses MS Excel or MS Project for project planning and manually keep a track of all team members and stakeholders. This required more of manual work and utmost care to make sure things are on track. This calls for spending extra time in organizing priorities, scheduling meetings, following up tasks &amp; sending reminders. It sounds simple, but in reality, we end up jugging between multiple applications and can end up in a mess.</P> <P><BR />In MS Teams you can create a dedicated Team and a channel for your team to have conversations and organize meeting calendar. However, you need something more to optimize your work and collaborate better with peers. With 3 simple steps <STRONG>Create, assign and track</STRONG>, Task by planner and To Do will make it easy to plan your schedules and day to day tasks.</P> <P><BR />Let us get some insights about MS Planner in my next blog and how to make best use of it while using as an app/Tab in MS Teams.</P> <H2><BR /><STRONG>Bio</STRONG></H2> <P><EM>Surya Pammi is a Technology Enthusiast working as an Infrastructure Architect in Cognizant Technology Solutions. He is MCT Certified and is an MVP aspirant. His technical expertise spans across MS SharePoint, MS Teams and MS Power Platform.</EM></P> <P><BR /><EM>To write your own blog on a topic of interest as a guest blogger in the Microsoft Teams Community, please submit your idea here: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>&nbsp;</EM></P> Tue, 21 Sep 2021 15:01:42 GMT Surya_Pammi 2021-09-21T15:01:42Z 4 Options For Migrating Slack To Microsoft Teams <P>Is your company preparing to migrate from Slack to Microsoft Teams? Getting started is hard and finding the right tool to help is even harder.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>This post does the hard work for you and uncovers the following:</P> <OL> <LI>Moving from Slack to Microsoft Teams using Spyglass MTG</LI> <LI>Moving from Slack to Microsoft Teams using Netwoven</LI> <LI>Moving from Slack to Microsoft Teams using Saketa</LI> <LI>Moving from Slack to Microsoft Teams using AvePoint</LI> <LI>Limitations when migrating from Slack to Microsoft Teams</LI> <LI>How do I handle the period of transition?</LI> </OL> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H2>Migrate from Slack to Teams with Spyglass MTG</H2> <P>Spyglass MTG (Microsoft Technology Group) is a consultancy firm specializing in building, deploying, migrating, and managing Microsoft solutions. Spyglass MTG is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, and has vast experience in deploying Microsoft 365, as well as implementing Azure, Microsoft Teams, and SharePoint sites.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Spyglass MTG’s Slack to Microsoft Teams migration</A> solution allows businesses to map users across both platforms, migrate all their related content, and map other features like channels, conversations, and files.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>It’s worth noting that those who have Slack Standard/Plus or Enterprise subscriptions can use the <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Import API</A> tool for up to ten times faster migration.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="spyglass.png" style="width: 480px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="spyglass.png" alt="spyglass.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Spyglass MTG supports the import of any channel conversations, groups, and direct messages to Microsoft Teams. During the mapping phase, you can select individual groups or direct messages you’d like to carry over and check the migration progress in real time.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H2>Migrate from Slack to Teams with Netwoven</H2> <P>Netwoven provides Microsoft Cloud solutions that will foster digital transformation of businesses through improved teams’ collaboration and top data analysis.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>One such solution that improves team collaborations is helping you migrate from Slack to Microsoft Teams.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Netwoven offers on-budget plans for your team’s step-by-step migration to SharePoint as a document management and communication platform, just the way it was in Slack.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Netwoven puts a particular emphasis on private channels:</P> <H4 class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">“Slack private channels allow a group of teammates to discuss and share privately. Microsoft Teams does not support private channels, so we came up with private Teams with external members.”</H4> <P>Via experience migrating, Netwoven also calls out files as troublesome when moving from Slack to Teams.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="migrating.png" style="width: 624px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="migrating.png" alt="migrating.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Netwoven says:</P> <H4 class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">“Files are uploaded to a SharePoint site with as-is authorship information.”</H4> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>While there is no specific tool by Netwoven, their technical team encourages a one-to-one call for planning.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H2>Migrate from Slack to Teams with Saketa</H2> <P>Saketa is a Slack to Microsoft Teams migration service that enables businesses that use Microsoft 365 and SharePoint to streamline their digital transformation across platforms.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>The <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Saketa Migrator</A> comes with a new “Slack to Teams Migration” module, which helps you map users and files between both platforms, schedule the migration for when it’s most convenient, and analyze the outcomes of the migration with post-migration reports.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Migrator.png" style="width: 480px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Migrator.png" alt="Migrator.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H2>Migrate from Slack to Teams with AvePoint</H2> <P>AvePoint makes use of its collaboration tool, FLY, for Slack to Teams migration and even for restructuring teams within or across Microsoft tenants.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>With its superlight install package, FLY completes your migration process in 3 steps:</P> <OL> <LI><STRONG>Data analysis:</STRONG> FLY helps you plan your migration by shedding light on what teams or channels are not important. If you’ve lost structure in your team's setup on Slack, this can let you know how to plan the setup of your business as you move to Microsoft 365.</LI> <LI><STRONG>Migration:</STRONG> You can migrate all your files, teams, and channels as is. However, you can also implement filters to get the right architecture for your teams.</LI> <LI><STRONG>Track your progress:</STRONG> It’s all about details. You’re migrating from Slack to Teams on the fly, but you still want to be able to know what’s going on. FLY uses dynamic dashboards to generate reports and provide detailed insights as updates to stakeholders in the event.</LI> </OL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="progress.png" style="width: 480px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="progress.png" alt="progress.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H2>Limitations when migrating from Slack to Microsoft Teams</H2> <P>Despite the many similar features between Slack and Microsoft Teams, there are limitations that come with migrating between the two platforms.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Available integrations</STRONG></P> <P>One major limitation is the discrepancy between available third-party integrations in Slack and Microsoft Teams. While Microsoft Teams already has over <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">600 apps available</A>, Slack leads the way with <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">over 2,000 apps</A> in its app directory.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Things like custom emojis and reactions can’t be migrated into Microsoft Teams.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="emojis.png" style="width: 480px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="emojis.png" alt="emojis.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>This isn’t a major issue, but if you have any emojis that are part of your team’s workflow, you need to have a plan in place as to how this translates into Microsoft Teams.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>This doesn’t need to be a bottleneck as, with enough planning, you’re likely to find another app in Microsoft Teams that does the job.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>You can also use Office 365 Connectors to make use of third-party apps within Outlook groups.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Finally, you can develop your own app using C# or develop custom integration with an existing app using Graph REST API.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H2>How do I handle the limitations associated with migrating?</H2> <P>Besides the fact that you may lose unsupported integrations and workflows when you migrate to Teams, you might be turned off by the long process.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Or maybe you and some members of the team actually prefer Slack.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>In situations like this, what do you do?</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Mio</A> is a cross-platform connector which allows users to communicate across Slack and Microsoft Teams without leaving their platform of choice.</P> <P><LI-VIDEO vid="" align="center" size="large" width="600" height="338" uploading="false" thumbnail="" external="url"></LI-VIDEO></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>CodeStream, a code collaboration software provider, uses Mio to allow its sales teams to chat cross platform from Slack to Teams. CodeStream’s CEO, Peter Pezaris, says:</P> <H4 class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">“Our sales teams use Slack shared channels whenever possible. Until discovering Mio, we were still using email to communicate with customers who use Teams. Mio allows us to communicate with all our customers in real-time, regardless of which team collaboration app they use.”</H4> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Mio doesn’t import any historical data. It simply supports real-time communication between the two platforms.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Even if your company switches to Teams, it’s likely that you’ll still work with third parties who want to continue using Slack in their communication with you.</P> <P>If you decide to keep Slack for internal or <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">intercompany collaboration</A>, Mio can bridge both platforms and allow seamless communication between Slack and Microsoft Teams for as long as you need.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><EM>Dominic Kent is the Content Marketing Director at Mio and a Freelance Content Marketer in the Unified Comms space. His customers all bring something unique to the Microsoft Teams experience, ranging from interoperability to governance to Teams-certified devices. LinkedIn: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></EM></P> <P><BR /><EM>To write your own blog on a topic of interest as a guest blogger in the Microsoft Teams Community, please submit your idea here: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></EM></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> Tue, 24 Aug 2021 15:00:00 GMT DomKent 2021-08-24T15:00:00Z Microsoft Teams Devices in an Education Environment <P>Well, our world has been turned around and we’ve all had to learn new ways of working, and I love the phrase, every day is a learning day. This is no different when we come to work and must deliver a remote learning experience. If I had mentioned Microsoft Teams to you four years ago, you’d probably look at me blankly and say what am I on about. Fast forward to now and there are over 250m monthly active users of Microsoft Teams. The platform is tremendous and so capable and in the short space of time, has branched off in different directions, especially with the Teams for Education.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>We’ve all had to clobber together a working environment for distance learning and working. Whether that is the laptop in your bedroom or in the classroom with the built-in webcam or watching a lesson on your cell phone or tablet at the kitchen table. Many people think that if you look and sound great, then your students will hear and see the same. Unfortunately, that isn’t true, once the audio and video is processed and sent hundreds or thousands or miles, you want that same experience at the other end. Many issues originate between the users’ peripherals and the device it’s connected to. That is why Microsoft work with many OEM manufacturers for devices, that are Certified for Microsoft Teams. This means they have gone through rigorous testing to ensure the experience for everyone is second to know, and everyone’s audio and video is clear.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>To see a list of certified devices for Microsoft Teams, you can visit <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>. This site provides a full list of the current certified devices for Microsoft Teams. This list is constantly updated as OEMs release new devices or even update existing devices to a newer model. The certified devices list covers Webcam, Headsets, Speakerphones, IP Phones for voice and video, a new category of certified monitors with built in speakers, microphone, Teams Panels, and camera and finally installed devices in the classroom.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Let’s look at each of the categories and we’ll start off with headsets.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H2><STRONG>Headsets</STRONG></H2> <P>You may think why I need a headset, my laptop has a built-in speakers, microphone, and camera, why would I ever need anything else? Well, you could look at the concept of good, better, and best or good enough, good, excellent. We all would love the best and most excellent products, but budget must come into at some point as well. One of the reasons I love to use a headset is for privacy. Whether I’m at home, in a coffee shop or at work (maybe in the staff room), we want to block out noise that is around us, plus we also want to hear what is being said. Therefore, the built it mic and speakers are not suitable sometimes. If my classroom is quiet with no one else there, then you may get away with it, but if I’m at home teaching, there could be other distractions such as construction workers outside making noise, dogs barking etc., so having a headset will help suppress that noise distraction.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="headset1.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="headset1.png" alt="headset1.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>There are a whole host of headsets available, single ear, dual ear headband, over ear, on ear, ear buds, neckbands with ear buds, wired or wireless etc. At the time of writing, there are 66 different headsets available. However, if I was look online, I’d find hundreds of headset OEMs. Remember the part of a headset being certified? Well, this is where the headset will have a call control and a dedicated Microsoft Teams button. This means you can control the call with the headset and not have to use the Teams client to do basic features, they are built into the headset. So, headsets are great and have a time and place, however, they can also become tiresome. Especially if you have back-to-back lessons all day, you may want to give your ears a rest. That is where the next category comes in.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H2><STRONG>Speakerphones</STRONG></H2> <P>Speakerphones or also known as Speaker Pucks are connected to your computer or laptop via a USB cable or paired with a USB dongle. At the time of writing there are 19 speakerphones available that are certified. Same rules apply here, the certified devices have the dedicated buttons etc. Speakerphones take away the fatigue of having a headset on all day and allows you to be more flexible with the setup. It also allows for you to have a say a teaching assistant join you in the classroom and contribute to the learning as you’ve got a shared speakerphone on the table. Again, speakerphones can have their downside, remember that dog barking or the children playing outside, so you may want to switch to headset sometimes. I love a speakerphone so I can be handsfree all of the time. Some of the OEMs have software in the devices that will block out background noise, but this feature has also come to Microsoft Teams too, so you don’t necessarily have to get a device will all the features, as Microsoft Teams will take care of it too.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="speakers1.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="speakers1.png" alt="speakers1.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Now let’s move away from using our laptop or computer for calls and offload the Microsoft Teams call to a dedicated device.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H2><STRONG>Microsoft Teams Desk Phones</STRONG></H2> <P>This next category is one of my favorites. You might be thinking why is that? Well, these devices sign directly into Microsoft Teams as they are connected directly to the internet either via a cable or via Wi-Fi. This means it frees up your laptop or desktop from the voice or video call, meaning that you have some great features on these devices such as the one click join to your classes, on screen captions, the ability to start/stop recording to name a few. It means you can use your laptop just to share content as the phones have a feature called Better Together, so they know when they are in a call. Here’s an example below, when I’m in a call on my Desk Phone, I get this banner at the top of my Microsoft Teams Desktop client.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="top.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="top.png" alt="top.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Once I tap the Join button, I am then given an option to either add my laptop or PC to the call or transfer the call altogether and use my laptop/PC for the call. My audio and video are automatically switched off when I select Add this device, this prevents the echo howling of two devices nearby in the same meeting. Now you can present your lesson from your device and have the audio and video coming from a desk phone.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="meeting.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="meeting.png" alt="meeting.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>On the desk phones, there are a few versions. There are some that are USB attached, so connect to your laptop or PC with a cable and get power from there. Great for having a dedicated handset for your Teams lesson. Plus, this is the entry level in terms of price. Next, we have basic devices that have smaller screens, but still the dedicated Teams button and a number page to dial out and make calls. These are also connected directly over the internet, so a great device to have if your laptop isn’t working. We then have devices with larger screens from 7” or higher and these devices can also receive content, so if someone is sharing from their Teams call, you get to see the content, even if the phone just has voice capabilities.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="phones1.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="phones1.png" alt="phones1.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>We then move up a level to a video-based desk phone. This can send and receive video, view large gallery, and even show Together mode. Also, they too get to receive content as the screens are over 7” is size.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="togethermode.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="togethermode.png" alt="togethermode.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Finally in the desk phone category, there is the Teams Display. This is much more of a companion device to your regular Microsoft Teams client. It brings across the same audio, video, and content we’ve see above in the phones, but it also has messages and your files for quick access to your documents stored with Microsoft Teams. The other nice feature of the Teams Display is that includes Cortana, so you can use the device handsfree.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Many of the devices have either a USB port or Bluetooth, so you can pair your headset with them too, if you don’t want to use the handset all day. In addition, many models have a speakerphone too, so can use it handsfree. Plenty of choices depending on your requirements. Now let’s look at what can be installed in the classroom.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Another nice feature on the desk phones is that you can view the Assignments too and see what due back at a quick glance.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="assignments.gif" style="width: 640px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="assignments.gif" alt="assignments.gif" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H2>Microsoft Teams Rooms</H2> <P>This device category is suited for the classrooms or lecture theatres. It can also be split into of Microsoft Teams Rooms can be split into two platforms, Windows, and Android operating system. This really comes down to what your educations IT department want to run and manage. Today, there are some feature differences, but that gap will close over time, but then some features will only be on one platform and not the other. However, essential features such as voice, video, content work across both platforms.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="rooms1.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="rooms1.png" alt="rooms1.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Within the ecosystem of devices, there is a device for every space. The below shows a table of different room sizes that the classrooms packages have been built for. The official planning document is <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A>. Then each of the vendors have a package designed for each of these spaces, so you are spoilt for choice, based on your preferred vendor or setup type, as some are slightly different to others. For example, you may prefer everything mount on the wall rather than placed on the desk in the center of the classroom, in case you move the class around.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Picture10.png" style="width: 400px;"><img src=";px=400" role="button" title="Picture10.png" alt="Picture10.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Many classrooms might be larger than this, so don’t worry, there is a solution for that too. Vendors such as Crestron and Yealink have solutions that can address this along with other certified solutions then encompass ceiling microphones that blend into the ceiling tiles along with ceiling speakers. This means technology is taken away from the students and faculty staff, meaning all they need to do is click Join on the touch panel to bring the lesson online.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Picture11.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Picture11.png" alt="Picture11.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H2><STRONG>Microsoft Teams Panel</STRONG></H2> <P>To complement classrooms, one of the newest categories is Teams Panels. This is for visual indication outside the room to show what lessons are on now and what is coming up next for the rest of the day. There is even an option to book the room if it is free and then it automatically creates a Microsoft Teams meeting, so when you walk into the room, you get that single click join experience and then add any other students or faculty staff using the center of room console.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="panel.jpg" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="panel.jpg" alt="panel.jpg" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H2><STRONG>Monitors</STRONG></H2> <P>In this newest category of devices, these are Microsoft Teams certified displays, which are your monitor, webcam, microphone, and speakers, all integrated. This means you just connect your laptop with a single cable and you can use the device to join your Microsoft Team calls. This would be great for a classroom that has a shared laptop in a room, where others can congregate around this display and contribute to the call.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="monitors.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="monitors.png" alt="monitors.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H2><STRONG>Webcams</STRONG></H2> <P>The final section is the good old webcam. Again, like I mentioned at the start, your laptop most probably has a built-in camera. However, using an external camera can provide better viewing angles, compensate for bad lighting etc. There are cameras for everyone’s budget too.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H2><STRONG>Conclusion</STRONG></H2> <P>There we have a complete run down of all the devices that are certified for Microsoft Teams and how they can be used in your education environment. To learn more, go to <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>. If you have any questions, feel free to post below.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><EM>Graham Walsh is a Technical Director at Crestron Electronics for their Worldwide Device Partners. With over 20 years of experience in voice and video, Graham helps customers, partners, distributors with all topics around Microsoft Teams Devices, with knowledge dating way back to Live Communications Server. Graham is an avid fan for Formula 1, House Music and Peloton cycling. See you on the leaderboard <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">#Graham_Walsh</A>.</EM></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><EM>He can also be found on Twitter <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@graham_walsh</A> or on LinkedIn: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>. Finally, lots of great content on his YouTube channel <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>&nbsp;or on his blog <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>.</EM></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><EM>To write your own blog on a topic of interest as a guest blogger in the Microsoft Teams Community, please submit your idea here: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>&nbsp;</EM></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> Tue, 17 Aug 2021 15:40:13 GMT Graham Walsh 2021-08-17T15:40:13Z Teams-a-thon event brings competition to virtual learning <H3><STRONG><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Picture4.png" style="width: 624px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Picture4.png" alt="Picture4.png" /></span></STRONG></H3> <H3><STRONG>What is teams-a-thon?</STRONG></H3> <P>It's the only event in the world that seeks to provide a space of healthy competition between administrators and experts in Microsoft Teams. We have been passing too much time in distance and now is time to take virtual events to a next level to bring people together in a new and funny way.&nbsp;</P> <P><BR />Participants will have a list of challenges to meet in the shortest possible time and with satisfactory results. All competition will be streamed on social networks, so you will be able to support your country and favorite participants during national phase, as well as during International Grand Final!</P> <P><BR />This event is organized and hold by Get-CsLatam Community, leaded by three Mexican Microsoft MVPs: Rodolfo Castro, Christian Romano, and Jose Roberto Correa.</P> <H3><BR /><STRONG>Who can participate?</STRONG></H3> <P>For the very first edition, registrations will be opened only for four countries:</P> <UL> <LI>Mexico</LI> <LI>Colombia</LI> <LI>Bolivia</LI> <LI>Peru</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="flags.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="flags.png" alt="flags.png" /></span></P> <H5><EM>*In next editions we will add more countries according to community participation.</EM></H5> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H3><STRONG>What are the requirements?</STRONG></H3> <P>In order to make it a quality event and provide the best experience for participants and the community, we need to ask for the following as requirements:</P> <UL> <LI>Live in one of the four countries mentioned above. (México, Colombia, Bolivia, Perú)</LI> <LI>Be of legal age.</LI> <LI>Have ADVANCED TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE about Microsoft Teams Administration.</LI> <LI>Share a presentation video.</LI> <LI>Availability to attend the national qualifier, and in case of being a winner participate in the international final.</LI> <LI>Wanting to be the 2021 TEAMS-A-THON CHAMPION</LI> </UL> <H3><STRONG>How to participate?</STRONG></H3> <P>Be part of this event is easy, just need to register and confirm your participation in this <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">link</A>.</P> <P><BR />Enter the knockout session of your country, on September 11, 2021.</P> <P><BR />Solve all challenges in the shortest possible time, in case you become your country winner you will need to participate during International Grand Final on September 24th - 25th, 2021.</P> <H3><BR />What will the national qualifiers look like?</H3> <P>There will be a 4-hour session where participants will be shared with a series of challenges to implement in a 30-day trial subscription of Microsoft 365 E5 licensing.</P> <P><BR />The first participant to solve the challenges (with evidence) will be the national winner and will have access to the Teams-a-Thon International Grand Final.</P> <H3><BR />What will the International Grand Final look like?</H3> <P>National representatives will need to solve several challenges to implement in a 30-day trial subscription of Microsoft 365 E5.</P> <P><BR />The first participant to solve the challenges (with evidence) will be the winner.</P> <P><BR />The challenges will be of greater difficulty so this Grand Final will be covered in two days with a session of 4 hours per day.</P> <P><BR />Internet searches will be limited to 3 searches per session, so be prepared!</P> <H3><BR />What are the prizes?</H3> <P>In addition to the glory and worldwide recognition, we seek to give the top 4 an award recognizing their effort.</P> <P><BR />Today we are still looking for sponsors for these awards, so be patient.</P> <H3><BR />How to become an sponsor?</H3> <P>Just send an email to, with your information and we will contact you. And thank you for your interest.</P> <H3><BR /><STRONG>Need more info?</STRONG></H3> <P>In case you need more info about this unique event, you can go to <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A> and follow us in social network, you can find us as @GetCsLatam.</P> Wed, 14 Jul 2021 20:24:00 GMT Rodolfo Castro Aguilar 2021-07-14T20:24:00Z Get the most out of your meetings in Microsoft Teams! <P>With the switch to remote working, we also switched to remote meetings. The differences between the two are quite big – and since for a lot of my customers that move was made in haste – they often lack knowledge and/or ability to take the most out of virtual meetings.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>So, with this blog, I wanted to share with you some quick tips and hints as to how you can improve those calls! How to make them more effective, more fun, and finally – less tiresome! We will discuss this in three stages, starting with…</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H1><STRONG>Before the meeting</STRONG></H1> <P><STRONG>1. Prepare an agenda</STRONG></P> <P>Sounds obvious, but the number of meetings without any agenda or an almost non-existent description is staggering. It is great that you, as an organizer, know what this meeting is about, but oftentimes to a lot of attendees this will be one of many, many meetings – especially when we switched to remote working.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Add at least a short description that will include what the meeting is about, possibly some key points of discussion and at best – what you would like to get out of it.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>It may seem pointless (everyone knows what this meeting should be about), but since the increase in online meetings a lot of them start with five-minute talks as to why we meet or what should we start with.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>2. Choose date and time wisely</STRONG></P> <P>You might have heard the “location, location, location” saying, but with online meetings (since we know the location ;)</img>) it is all about time, time, time!</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Don’t schedule your meetings too early (everyone has different sleeping habits) nor too late (meeting at 4:30 pm? BAD idea!). I would personally avoid beginning and end of the week for bigger meetings/workshops as well, since people might think of the weekend still!</P> <P>Finding a time that all attendees are available at is also a challenge – if the meeting is in your organization – remember to use <SPAN><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">scheduling assistant</A></SPAN> in Outlook! However, if you need to have a talk with your clients or business partners OUTSIDE – it might be a great idea, to utilize the <SPAN><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">FindTime</A></SPAN> add-on (produced by Microsoft, available for free), so that everyone can vote for the best time :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes:</img>!</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="vote on preferred time.png" style="width: 624px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="vote on preferred time.png" alt="vote on preferred time.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>3. Setup your meeting options</STRONG></P> <P>Now THAT is something that (unfortunately) not many use but SHOULD.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Meeting options (available either when editing a meeting from Outlook or Microsoft Teams calendar) will allow you to decide who is the presenter and who is the attendee – and believe me, that is crucial for bigger meetings! With this you can keep control of your meeting – you decide who (and when) can use their microphones, whether chat is available (or maybe only there for the duration of the meeting?) or if the lobby should be enabled and for whom.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Also – if you plan larger meetings with the option to join via phone – please consider turning off the <EM>“Announce when callers join or leave.”</EM> I have participated in meetings that were a disaster at the beginning due to this option being marked and the automated voice constantly interrupting presenters!</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="meeting options.png" style="width: 858px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="meeting options.png" alt="meeting options.png" /></span></P> <P><STRONG>4. Extend your meeting with forms and quizzes from Microsoft Forms!</STRONG></P> <P>Since this is a fairly new option, I have not seen this used much – but boy, is it fun. <SPAN><A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Since November last year, you can include Forms questions and/or quizzes in your meetings!</A></SPAN></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Whenever you need to vote for something during a meeting or just to check if your participants are paying attention ;)</img> use the Microsoft Forms tab in a meeting. With this, you can prepare interactive polls beforehand (or if needed add those ad-hoc during a meeting) and when the time comes – launch them from the meeting window, so that others can share their thoughts.</P> <P>Since I am conducting quite a lot of training sessions with Teams – this is one of my favorite things and my trainees love it too.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="extend meetings.gif" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="extend meetings.gif" alt="extend meetings.gif" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H1><STRONG>So the meeting begins – what then?</STRONG></H1> <P><STRONG>5. BE ON TIME! </STRONG>I cannot stress this enough – do not make others wait for you</P> <P>I would even extend this point to “do not wait for others.” unless it is the presenter who is late :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes:</img> Why? If we have 10 people at a meeting and 9 are on time, but we wait 5 minutes for the last person – overall you lose 45 minutes of company time (5 minutes times 9 people who are waiting). Imagine what happens during bigger meetings with hundreds of participants!</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>6. Show yourself</STRONG></P> <P>The biggest difference between on-site and online meetings is the lack of… how should we call it, physical presence? During remote calls we often cannot see the reactions of others, their body language etc.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>So, what you should do is for sure to enable your cameras. This will at least give you a tiny little bit of feeling like you are in the same place.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Extend this with <SPAN><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><STRONG>Together mode</STRONG></A></SPAN> – that should help you with the video fatigue as mentioned in the linked article.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>And as a presenter – you will not lose touch with your audience. With together mode I can see the reactions of the participants and adjust my content or breaks accordingly.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="together mode.png" style="width: 418px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="together mode.png" alt="together mode.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>7. Record the meetings and, if possible, delegate someone to take notes</STRONG></P> <P>Always remember that by recording the meeting, those who are out of office or cannot join due to other responsibilities can catch-up at convenient time. If the conference is a channel meeting – the recording will be saved in the files in that channel. If it is a regular Teams meeting – it will end up in the OneDrive folder of the person who initiated the recording.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Keep in mind, that you might need to share that video externally as well.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Additionally, I would very much recommend adding a OneNote notebook to your team and using it as an universal place for all the meeting minutes. &nbsp;With meeting recap all the important details of a meeting will be listed in that meetings chat on Microsoft Teams!</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>8. Mix it up!</STRONG></P> <P>Remember when I mentioned the Microsoft Forms add-on in point 4? &nbsp;Launch those forms for a change of pace.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Also – have you tried the Microsoft Whiteboard? With this app, you can create your virtual flip-chart and have a free-form canvas, to use as you want! It is even better when you have access to touchscreens (like Microsoft Surface devices).</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Suggestion from my side – the Whiteboard available from Teams in the “web” version of the app does NOT yet support many of its features. I highly recommend opening whiteboard in a meeting but continuing the editing of the canvas in the app you can download from Microsoft Store. There, you get the option to use templates, import images and many, many more, while still being able to communicate and collaborate with others.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="whiteboard.png" style="width: 624px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="whiteboard.png" alt="whiteboard.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>As a side note: &nbsp;if you are presenting slides made in PowerPoint, do NOT share your app window or whole screen, but utilize <SPAN><A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><STRONG>PowerPoint Live</STRONG></A></SPAN>. &nbsp;With that, you will not lose contact with the audience – you can still see them, still monitor the chat and you will also get the presenter view, with options to skip slides or use ink! Be aware of the raised hands as well.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>9. And if you want to work in groups – make use of breakout rooms feature!</STRONG></P> <P>This is especially useful in all the bigger meetings when you want to work in subgroups or during brainstorming – with the <SPAN><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Breakout rooms</A></SPAN> feature, you can divide your meeting into few smaller ones, so that your participants can work in groups!</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>There are however slight limitations to this right now – the biggest one (from my experience) is that only the meeting organizer can manage the rooms (so launch them, move people around and freely move across the rooms). Keep that in mind and DRY RUN before you use this feature.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="breakout rooms.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="breakout rooms.png" alt="breakout rooms.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <H1><STRONG>And with the meeting finished…</STRONG></H1> <P><STRONG>10. Share the notes/recording/used resources and forms results</STRONG></P> <P>All of those things should be in the meeting chat (available in the Microsoft Teams), however with our email-oriented culture, many users still prefer a short summary via email. Copy the links and share the summary, and over the time – switch completely to Microsoft Teams held resources :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes:</img>!</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Keep in mind that attendees outside your organization will NOT have access to the recording by default (and often to the shared materials as well) – so it is crucial to share those with them via email.</P> <H2><STRONG>To sum things up</STRONG></H2> <P>Microsoft Teams is a powerful tool, that can be further extended with that use of third-party add-ons/apps, so you could try those out as well. Try not to use it as a straight replacement to legacy Skype for business meetings.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Play with available options, plan a meeting thoroughly, mix things up, so that no one is bored and finally… have fun! Virtual meetings, when used properly, should be even more effective than those held in person ;)</img></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><EM>Kuba Borkowski is a Microsoft Cloud solutions specialist at Integrity Partners. With years of experience in anything Modern workplace related, he helps customers with all topics around security, compliance and productivity. As a change practitioner he has worked with various big and small customers supporting them in their adoption journey and much, much more.&nbsp; LinkedIn: </EM><SPAN><EM><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></EM></SPAN></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><EM>To write your own blog on a topic of interest as a guest blogger in the Microsoft Teams Community, please submit your idea here: </EM><SPAN><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><EM></EM></A></SPAN></P> Tue, 06 Jul 2021 15:00:00 GMT KubaBorkowski 2021-07-06T15:00:00Z Microsoft Teams Community Update: April, 2021 <P>The Microsoft Teams Community has not been more exciting! In-person events and gatherings are close to being a reality and in some parts of the world have already begun. More and more user groups and community events are popping up, the activity in the Tech Community has never been stronger, and there's all kinds of chatter around the many <A href="" target="_self">recent feature updates</A>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Here's a few updates I'd like to share from the last month.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>We would like to congratulate Theresa Lubelski who has been named the April Microsoft Teams Community Start Award winner.</STRONG> As Women in Teams Community kicked off earlier this year, we knew it'd take a village to make things run smooth, to host a vibrant online community, and monthly gatherings. Theresa jumped in with both feet in getting the community off the ground and has worked to make sure those in the community can collaborate with one another and have the opportunity to participate. She has brought her depth of SharePoint and has been a vital member of the planning team. <A href="#" target="_self">Follow Theresa on Twitter&nbsp;</A><LI-USER uid="442906"></LI-USER> or <A href="#" target="_self">find her on LinkedIn</A>. If you are interested in being part of the <STRONG>Women in Teams Community</STRONG>, <A href="#" target="_self">we invite you to join us</A>! The next monthly gathering is June 8th.</P> <P><SPAN>Anyone can&nbsp;</SPAN><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">nominate</A><SPAN>&nbsp;an individual for the Microsoft Teams Community Star Award.</SPAN></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><SPAN><STRONG>There are some fantastic Community Events happening in the coming months, both virtual and in-person.</STRONG> You can find a list of regional and worldwide User Group and Events in the Microsoft Technical Community Event Listings. If you have your own UG or Event to share, please add it!&nbsp;</SPAN></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><SPAN>I hope you'll join me May 12th at <A href="#" target="_self">Teams Nation</A>, a&nbsp;<STRONG>100% free, 100% community based </STRONG>monthly meeting&nbsp;and community conference focused on Microsoft Teams, its underlying technologies and extensibility options. Its aim is to bring together Microsoft, Community Leaders and the Tech Community to share technical knowledge, provide opportunities for speaking and create a network of Teams enthusiasts the world over.&nbsp;@Allie Thompson and I will be speaking on 'Solving the #MVPBuzz Mystery and how you can have a bigger impact on community'.&nbsp; There's a packed schedule covering just about everything Microsoft Teams - <A href="#" target="_self">check it out!</A></SPAN></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><SPAN>If you're up for sunshine and a bit of travel, you can join us at the <A href="#" target="_self">M365 Collaboration Conference</A> in Orlando in June! If you prefer to stay in the comfort of your home, you can do that too. M365 Conference is a hybrid event which means you can travel or not - but you won't miss out on the great content delivered across all M365 technologies. This event used to be called SharePoint Conference and has evolved into the M365 Collaboration Conference. The new conference is expanding to include sessions and keynote covering Microsoft Teams and Power Platform. The event is a precursor to the main event taking place late this year in Las Vegas in December.</SPAN></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><SPAN>Originally there were some in-person events scheduled this summer which have since pushed out to fall and I can't WAIT to be a part of them. <STRONG>You won't want to miss:&nbsp;</STRONG></SPAN></P> <P><SPAN><A href="#" target="_self">European SharePoint, O365 &amp; Azure Conference</A> - virtual in June, 2021</SPAN></P> <P><SPAN><A href="#" target="_self">CommsVerse</A> in UK - September, 2021&nbsp;</SPAN></P> <P><SPAN><A href="#" target="_self">TeamsFest / SharePointFest</A> in Washington DC - September, 2021</SPAN></P> <P><SPAN><A href="#" target="_self">Thrive Conference</A> in Slovenia - October, 2021</SPAN></P> <P><SPAN><A href="#" target="_self">European Collaboration Summit</A> - November, 2021</SPAN></P> <P><SPAN><A href="#" target="_self">M365 Conference</A> - Las Vegas, NV - December 2021</SPAN></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><SPAN>Finally, we're always looking for bloggers like YOU to contribute to <A href="#" target="_self">this space</A>! If you'd like to share your knowledge in blog format with this community, <A href="#" target="_self">please submit your topic</A>!</SPAN></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><SPAN>What community activities are you participating in? What community support do you need? Let us know!</SPAN></P> <P><SPAN>Until next month - Be well!</SPAN></P> <P><SPAN>#CommunityRocks!</SPAN></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><SPAN>Laurie Pottmeyer</SPAN></P> <P><SPAN>Community Lead, Microsoft Teams Engineering</SPAN></P> <P><SPAN>@<EM>lauriepottmeyer&nbsp;</EM></SPAN></P> Fri, 14 May 2021 15:38:31 GMT Laurie Pottmeyer 2021-05-14T15:38:31Z 1:1 Call Recording in Microsoft Teams Deep Dive <P>This blog dives into how to setup 1:1 call recording, end user experience and best practices for enabling this feature for users.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>What is 1:1 call recording ?</STRONG></P> <P>This feature gives user the ability to record Microsoft® Teams call made to another user who is using Teams. Note that, this feature does not give you the ability to record 1:1 call with PSTN user. <BR /><BR /><STRONG>How to enable call recording settings:</STRONG><BR />This is enabled using PowerShell. You need to modify the "Teams Calling Policy" using PowerShell. This setting is disabled by default – it must be enabled. You can either enable it for your global policy or you can create a custom policy, which has this feature enabled, and apply that policy to users who require this feature.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <PRE>Set-CsTeamsCallingPolicy -Identity Global -AllowCloudRecordingForCalls $True</PRE> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Note that, prior to April 12, 2021, this setting was controlled by the "Teams meeting policy". If you allowed recording for teams meeting by setting "AllowCloudRecording" to true. After May 31, 2021, this particular setting in "Meeting Policy" only works for recording a meeting, it does not work for call recording. <BR /><BR /><STRONG>End user experience:</STRONG></P> <P>After enabling this feature the user will have the option to ‘record a call’ in teams. <BR /><BR />After a call is connected, users will have to click on the "more actions" icon (…) and it will give the option to start recording. In this example, John called Jane, and John started the recording.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Picture1.png" style="width: 187px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Picture1.png" alt="Picture1.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>When the recording starts the user on the other end (Jane) will get a notification that recording has started. In addition, a recording icon (red button) appears right next to the timer, even if the notification is dismissed the recording icon will stay active as long as recording is going on, so that the user is aware that the call is being recorded. <BR /><BR />The notification still says "this meeting is being recording…" even though it is a 1:1 call, you can ignore this typo.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Picture2.png" style="width: 624px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Picture2.png" alt="Picture2.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG> Where is the recording stored</STRONG><BR />The recording will be stored either in Stream or OneDrive for the user who initiated the recording. The "other" user - in this example, "Jane" will have read-only access to the recording. <BR /><BR />Both users will be notified when the recording is ready. It will show up in the chat window for the call - in this example, John called "Jane Doe" and Jane recorded the call. The link to recording appears on both their chat window and it can be played back right on the Teams client. <BR /><BR />In this case both John and Jane are in the same organization within the same Microsoft 365 tenant.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Picture3.png" style="width: 624px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Picture3.png" alt="Picture3.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>If the user who did not initiate the recording is an external user, then, this "recorded" user will not have access to the recording. The user who initiated the recording will have to share the recording with the user on the other organization. <BR /><BR />After July 7, 2021, all recordings will be stored in OneDrive by default, unless your organization decides to opt-out. Following article goes into details about recording and storage for both 1:1 calls and meeting recordings. <BR /><BR /><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Use OneDrive for Business and SharePoint for meeting recordings - Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Docs</A><BR /><BR />This feature is for end user and does not replace or complement compliance recording. The user who initiates the recording has access to the recorded file, which in certain situation can violate compliance. For example, in certain scenarios, just the notification that the user is being recorded may not meet compliance requirement, additional disclaimers might be necessary. Another possible scenario - certain users are not allowed to keep recordings of calls in their storage. In these cases, admins need to get formal approval from the compliance team before proceeding with this setting.</P> <P><BR />Recommendation:</P> <OL> <LI>Consider compliance requirement prior to enabling 1:1 recording feature.</LI> <LI>Start with a custom policy where this feature is enabled and add select group users to the policy. If a decision is made to enable the feature for all users, then the feature can be enabled globally.</LI> <LI>Both 1:1 call recording and meeting recording experience should be similar for specific users – otherwise, it can create confusion for the end-user.</LI> <LI>Share helpful tips with the user about where the recordings are stored.</LI> <LI>Consider retention policy to get remove old recordings from user's One Drive.</LI> </OL> <P><BR />Seema Rahman is the Principal Architect of Zodela Technologies. Her primary focus area is Microsoft Teams – over last 3 years, she has helped multiple mid to large size customers adopt teams as their main collaboration platform.</P> <P><BR />To write your own blog on a topic of interest as a guest blogger in the Microsoft Teams Community, please submit your idea here: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> Wed, 05 May 2021 15:00:00 GMT Seema Rahman 2021-05-05T15:00:00Z Microsoft Teams and on-premises mailboxes: Part 3 – Calendar-Based Presence and Delegates <P>This blog post is part 3 of the three-part series on Microsoft Teams and on-premises Exchange mailboxes.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Teams and on-premises mailboxes: Part 1 – How do Teams and Exchange Server interact?</A></P> <P><A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Teams and on-premises mailboxes: Part 2 - Teams Calendar App Troubleshooting</A></P> <P><BR />In the first part of the series, I presented an overview of how Teams Backend Services and on-premises Exchange organizations interact. The second part of the series describes how the Teams Backend Services find the on-premises Exchange organization via AutoDiscover and what options you have to isolate sources of error when problems arise during this process, and the access to the calendar app.</P> <P><BR />This blog post covers Calendar Delegates for Teams meetings and the calendar-based presence status.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG><FONT size="5">Troubleshooting Microsoft Teams and Calendar Delegates</FONT></STRONG><BR />The Calendar App displays your calendar to plan meetings or live meetings. If you want a delegate to create a Teams meeting on your behalf, the delegate must schedule the meeting in Outlook for desktop if both users have on-premises mailboxes. You can only plan a new Teams meeting if the Microsoft Teams AddIn is available in Outlook.</P> <P><BR />Another essential prerequisite is that you, as the mailbox manager, grant delegate access with Editor-permissions via the Outlook setup wizard for delegates. Assigning folder permissions on the calendar folder is not sufficient.</P> <P><BR />Creating a new team meeting by a delegate for a manager mailbox in an on-premises Exchange organization also uses the Exchange Web Services endpoint. Creating a new meeting by a delegate uses the following steps:</P> <OL> <LI>The delegate selects the managers' calendar in Outlook for Desktop and clicks New Team Meeting in the ribbon bar <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="New Teams Meeting.png" style="width: 116px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="New Teams Meeting.png" alt="New Teams Meeting.png" /></span></P> </LI> <LI>The Teams AddIn connects to the Teams Backend Services and queries the delegate permissions for the manager mailbox</LI> <LI>The Teams Backend Services uses AutoDiscover V2 to acquire EWS URL</LI> <LI>The Teams Backend Services establish an OAuth authenticated connection to the /EWS virtual directory of the on-premises Exchange Server</LI> <LI>The Teams Backend Services send a GetDelegate SOAP-Request for creating the Teams meeting in the manager mailbox</LI> <LI>Exchange Server returns the list of configured mailbox delegates and the corresponding mailbox permissions</LI> <LI>The Teams Backend Services sends the Teams meeting information as a response to the Teams Outlook AddIn, which adds the information to the Outlook meeting request <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Microsoft Teams Meeting.png" style="width: 326px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Microsoft Teams Meeting.png" alt="Microsoft Teams Meeting.png" /></span></P> </LI> </OL> <P>If you encounter problems creating a new Teams meeting invite as a delegate, you can check the following:</P> <UL> <LI>Does the Teams Calendar App work as expected for the manager and the delegate?</LI> <LI>Execute a GetDelegate query using a SOAP client, i.e., <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SOAPe</A> <UL> <LI>Again, use Fiddler for additional troubleshooting on the protocol level</LI> </UL> </LI> <LI>You receive a Teams error notification <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Permission to Schedule Meetings.png" style="width: 439px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Permission to Schedule Meetings.png" alt="Permission to Schedule Meetings.png" /></span></P> <UL> <LI>Verify the delegate permission, as direct folder permissions are not sufficient</LI> </UL> </LI> <LI>You receive a Teams error notification that a connection to the server is not possible<span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Cant connect to server.png" style="width: 444px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Cant connect to server.png" alt="Cant connect to server.png" /></span> <UL> <LI> <P>Check the EWS protocol log for the GetDelegate query</P> </LI> <LI> <P>Check the IIS Frontend and EWS-Proxy logs for Teams Backend connections</P> </LI> <LI> <P>Check the Exchange Server <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">PartnerApplication</A>-configuration</P> </LI> </UL> </LI> </UL> <P>Another error source for connection issues to Exchange Server endpoints is user agent string filtering. If you use Layer 7 network devices that perform such filtering, configure them for bypass.</P> <P><BR />In <A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">part 2 of this mini-series</A>, you learned the detailed steps for troubleshooting using the Exchange Server log files. Use the same procedures for troubleshooting the calendar delegate issues.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG><FONT size="5">Troubleshooting Microsoft Teams and calendar-based Presence Status</FONT></STRONG><BR />Microsoft Teams can update the presence status to "In a meeting" based on calendar information in your mailbox. However, there are limits to this functionality in conjunction with an on-premises Exchange Server mailbox.</P> <P><BR />The Microsoft Teams client queries the presence status every six minutes from the Teams backend's Presence Service. An Exchange calendar query can be done in two different modes:</P> <UL> <LI>Pull-Mode<BR />Calendar query based on a 1-hour interval</LI> <LI>Push-Mode<BR />Subscription-based</LI> </UL> <P>The combination of Microsoft Teams with on-premises mailboxes supports Pull-Mode only.<BR />The Presence Service uses the REST protocol when querying calendar information and performs the following steps:</P> <OL> <LI>The Teams Backend Services uses AutoDiscover V2 to acquire REST URL</LI> <LI>The Teams Backend Services establish an OAuth authenticated connection to the /api virtual directory of the on-premises Exchange Server</LI> <LI>The Teams Backend Services try to create a new calendar event subscription<BR />a. This action fails because a missing RPC endpoint</LI> <LI>The Teams Backend Services use a REST request to query calendar information and determine a calendar-based presence status</LI> </OL> <P>The options analyzing issues are the same that you have already learned about for AutoDiscover and calendar access:</P> <UL> <LI>Does the AutoDiscover response contain the correct REST URL, and is the endpoint accessible from the internet? <UL> <LI>Again, Fiddler is your tool of choice for troubleshooting connection issues on the HTTPS layer</LI> </UL> </LI> <LI>If you have not yet installed the <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Exchange Server December 2020 Cumulative Updates</A> or newer, check the web.config of the Frontend REST virtual directory <UL> <LI>Add the <EM>maxQueryStringLength</EM> attribute to the <EM>httpRuntime</EM> configuration</LI> </UL> </LI> </UL> <H5>File path: $exinstall\FrontEnd\HttpProxy\rest\web.config<BR />&lt;httpRuntime maxRequestLength="2097151" maxUrlLength="2048" <STRONG>maxQueryStringLength="4096"</STRONG> requestPathInvalidCharacters="&amp;lt;,&gt;,*,%,\,?" requestValidationMode="2.0" /&gt;</H5> <UL> <LI>Check the IIS Frontend and REST Proxy logs for Teams Backend connections</LI> <LI>Check the Exchange REST logs for proxied Frontend connections</LI> </UL> <P>As with the calendar delegate access, user agent string filters are also sources of error for presence status. If you use Layer 7 network devices to filter access to the REST endpoint, configure them for bypass or remove them from the access path for troubleshooting.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Links</STRONG></P> <UL> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SOAPe Client on GitHub</A></LI> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Exchange Server Build Numbers and Release Dates</A></LI> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Troubleshoot Microsoft Teams and Exchange Server interaction issues</A></LI> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Allow someone else to manage your mail and calendar</A><BR /><BR /></LI> </UL> <P>Thomas Stensitzki is a leading technology consultant focusing on Microsoft messaging and collaboration technologies and the owner of Granikos GmbH &amp; Co. KG. He is an MVP for Office Apps &amp; Services and an MCT Regional Lead. As a user group organizer, he hosts the Microsoft Teams User Group Berlin and the Exchange User Group DACH.<BR />Twitter: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>&nbsp;<BR />Blog: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>&nbsp;<BR />Teams User Group: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>&nbsp;<BR />Exchange User Group: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>&nbsp;</P> <P><BR />To write your own blog on a topic of interest as a guest blogger in the Microsoft Teams Community, please submit your idea here: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>&nbsp;</P> Thu, 25 Mar 2021 20:12:08 GMT Thomas Stensitzki 2021-03-25T20:12:08Z Microsoft Teams and on-premises mailboxes: Part 2 - Teams Calendar App Troubleshooting <P>This blog post is part 2 of the three-part series on Microsoft Teams and on-premises Exchange mailboxes.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG><A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Teams and on-premises mailboxes: Part 1 – How do Teams and Exchange Server interact?</A></STRONG></P> <P><BR /><STRONG><FONT size="5">Teams Backend AutoDiscover</FONT></STRONG><BR />The Teams Backend Services use AutoDiscover Version 2 to find a user's Exchange mailbox on behalf of a Teams client. This AutoDiscover V2 call is an anonymous call for performance reasons to determine the Exchange target URL for the mailbox sought as quickly as possible. As already mentioned in the previous blog post, the Teams Backend Services query the AutoDiscover endpoint of Exchange Online first. If Exchange Online does not host the mailbox, the services receive an HTTP redirect to search for the local Exchange organization's endpoint.</P> <P><BR />The detailed steps are:</P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">1. The Teams Backend Services query the Exchange Online AutoDiscover endpoint for the URL for the EWS protocol using an AutoDiscover V2 JSON query <BR /><EM><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">;Protocol=EWS</A></EM></P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">2. Exchange Online verifies the recipient type for the email address contained in the JSON query and replies with one of the following options:</P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px">a. RecipientType: <STRONG>Mailbox</STRONG><BR /><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px">The mailbox is an Exchange Online mailbox. No further steps are necessary. The Teams Services have the information they need to access the users' calendar.</P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px">b. RecipientType: <STRONG>MailUser</STRONG><BR />Exchange Online determines the AutoDiscover endpoint based on the <EM>ExternalEmailAddress</EM> attribute; in this example <EM></EM></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">3. Exchange Online replies with an HTTP 302 redirect to</P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px"><BR />4. The Teams Backend Services send an AutoDiscover V2 JSON query for the URL for the EWS protocol<BR /><EM><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">;Protocol=EWS</A></EM></P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px"><BR />5. On-premises Exchange Server replies with an external EWS URL of a virtual Exchange Web Services virtual directory <BR />Example: {"Protocol":"EWS","Url":"<A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>"}</P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px"><BR />6. The Teams Backend Services use the received URL to establish a connection to the on-premises Exchange organization</P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">&nbsp;</P> <P>But what do the Teams Backend Services exactly, after receiving the EWS URL? The services perform the following steps:</P> <UL> <LI>Open an HTTPS connection to the on-premises EWS URL and perform an OAuth authentication using the registered services principal</LI> <LI>Send an EWS calendar query</LI> <LI>Receive the Exchange Web Services response</LI> <LI>Send the parsed calendar data to the Teams clients' calendar app for further use</LI> </UL> <P>As you can see, accessing the calendar of a user mailbox hosted in an on-premises Exchange organization is complex. This complexity can lead to errors.</P> <P><BR />How can you now perform an error analysis for the AutoDiscover process and the subsequent calendar access? Let's start with AutoDiscover.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Troubleshooting AutoDiscover</STRONG></FONT><BR />Since Microsoft Teams Backend Services perform all AutoDiscover and other client accesses, there are no viable troubleshooting steps on the local Teams client. The client itself must have access to the internet and proper DNS name resolution working.</P> <P><BR />Because AutoDiscover V2 uses anonymous access, you can test it for any email address. This self-test helps you as an IT administrator check AutoDiscover for a users' email address that might not work correctly. You can check the AutoDiscover response using PowerShell or with the help of a browser.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>PowerShell</STRONG><BR />Run the Invoke-RestMethod cmdlet with the following Uri-Strings for EWS and REST protocol</P> <P><BR />Invoke-RestMethod -Uri '<A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">;Protocol=EWS</A>'</P> <P><BR />Invoke-RestMethod -Uri '<A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">;Protocol=REST</A>'</P> <P><BR />Out-of-Office information and calendar-based presence status requests use the on-premises REST-endpoint.</P> <P><BR />Ensure that there are no unsupported characters in the Uri.</P> <P><BR /><STRONG>Browser</STRONG><BR />You can test and query the AutoDiscover endpoint using the following URLs</P> <P><BR /><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">;Protocol=EWS</A> <BR /><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">;Protocol=REST</A></P> <P><BR />For an on-premises mailbox, you receive an AutoDiscover response from your on-premises Exchange Server, like the one shown in the following screenshot.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="AutoDiscover response.png" style="width: 605px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="AutoDiscover response.png" alt="AutoDiscover response.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Perform a Fiddler trace for a more detailed error analysis when executing the HTTPS queries. The trace results help you to identify other possible sources of error, i.e., a failed TLS handshake.<BR />If an error occurs while determining the AutoDiscover information, this does not automatically imply a problem. Check the following options:</P> <UL> <LI>The AutoDiscover query terminates with a timeout <UL> <LI>Is the HTTPS access to your Exchange organization restricted to the remote IP address ranges of Microsoft 365?</LI> <LI>Maybe the Exchange Server systems have a performance problem and cannot respond promptly?</LI> </UL> </LI> <LI>You receive a "User Not Found"-response <UL> <LI>Is the user account excluded from the Azure AD Connect synchronization and does not exist as a "Mail User" object in Exchange Online?</LI> </UL> </LI> <LI>The response does not contain the expected EWS or REST URL <UL> <LI>The mailbox is an on-premises mailbox, but the response contains the Exchange Online endpoint</LI> </UL> </LI> </UL> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-90px"><A style="font-family: inherit; background-color: #ffffff;" href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-90px">Most likely, the user has an additional mailbox in Exchange Online. <A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Resolve the double mailbox situation</A>.</P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-90px">&nbsp;</P> <UL> <LI style="list-style-type: none;"> <UL> <LI>The response contains a URL that seems to be an internal URL, i.e.,</LI> </UL> </LI> </UL> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-90px"><A style="font-family: inherit; background-color: #ffffff;" href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://exch01.varunagroup.local/EWS/Exchange.asmx</A><SPAN style="font-family: inherit;">&nbsp;</SPAN></P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-90px">The ExternalUrl attribute configuration is not correct for all virtual directories.</P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-90px">&nbsp;</P> <UL> <LI style="list-style-type: none;"> <UL> <LI>You use bound namespaces, the user mailbox location is AD site EMEA, but the response contains an URL of a different site, i.e.,</LI> </UL> </LI> </UL> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-90px"><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-90px">Expected URL: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-90px">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-90px">Until March 2021, AutoDiscover V2 is not AD site-aware. The March 2021 cumulative updates for Exchange Server 2016 and 2019 fix this issue. Read more about the updates in this <A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">blog post</A>.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <UL> <LI>DNS Name resolution fails for the email address target domain <UL> <LI>There is no DNS resource record for AutoDiscover in the internet-facing DNS zone</LI> </UL> </LI> </UL> <P>The next steps to identify connection problems lead us to the on-premises Exchange servers. With a local network trace, you can determine whether there are TLS handshake errors. Please note that your Exchange Server systems must be <A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">configured correctly for TLS 1.2</A>. The TLS 1.2 configuration might require manual steps if you use Exchange Server 2016 or Exchange Server 2013.</P> <P><BR />If there are no errors in the TLS handshake, you must check the Exchange server's log files. Checking the log files on the local Exchange servers requires several steps. Depending on your local Exchange organization's size and the number of Exchange Servers, this check can be very complicated.</P> <P><BR />The following diagram shows the participating Exchange Server components of a single Exchange Server for incoming connections from the Teams Backend Services to the Exchange Web Services endpoint.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Teams Backend Services.png" style="width: 605px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Teams Backend Services.png" alt="Teams Backend Services.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>The IIS Default website receives the incoming HTTPS connection from the Teams Services and passes it to the Frontend Proxy component, i.e., EWS or REST. You find information about those two connections in the W3SVC1 (1) and the HttpProxy logs of the targeted protocol (2). The Frontend Proxy component proxies the connection to the Exchange Backend website of the Exchange Server, where the active database copy containing the user mailbox is mounted. This is not necessarily the same Exchange Server accepting the Frontend connection. You find information about this proxied connection in the W2SVC2 IIS logs (3) and the queried Exchange service (4). Depending on the Exchange protocol you want to troubleshoot, you must check the AutoDiscover, EWS, or REST log files.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG><FONT size="5">Troubleshooting Calendar App</FONT></STRONG><BR />Now that you know how to deal with the AutoDiscover process's errors, it's time to take a look at the Teams Calendar app.</P> <P><BR />Suppose the access to AutoDiscover works without errors. There is a high probability that the access to the Exchange Web Services will also work, and therefore the calendar app in the Teams client will show calendar information.</P> <P><BR />However, if the Teams client does not display the calendar, check the following:</P> <UL> <LI>Can the EWS URL determined by AutoDiscover, is the hostname resolvable in the domain's external DNS zone, and can it be reached from the Internet via HTTPS? <UL> <LI>Use a browser to connect to the EWS URL and use Fiddler to identify any connection-based issues<BR />The EWS endpoint must reply with am HTTP 401 status code</LI> </UL> </LI> <LI>Use the Remote Connectivity Analyzer to perform a Teams Calendar Access Tab Test</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="calendar test.png" style="width: 753px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="calendar test.png" alt="calendar test.png" /></span></P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px"><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <UL> <LI>Verify the OAuth Authentication configuration <UL> <LI>Use the PowerShell Cmdlet <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Test-OAuthConnectivity</A></LI> <LI><SPAN style="font-family: inherit;">Verify <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ServicePrincipalNames, IntraOrganization- and AuthServer-configuration</A></SPAN></LI> </UL> </LI> </UL> <P>In the next blog post, we will take a closer look at calendar delegate situations.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Links</STRONG></P> <UL> <LI><A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Exchange Server TLS guidance Part 2: Enabling TLS 1.2 and Identifying Clients Not Using It</A></LI> <LI><A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">My user has a mailbox both on-premises and in Exchange Online. Help!</A></LI> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Configure OAuth authentication between Exchange and Exchange Online organizations</A></LI> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Troubleshoot Microsoft Teams and Exchange Server interaction issues</A></LI> <LI><A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Released: March 2021 Quarterly Exchange Updates</A><BR /><BR /></LI> </UL> <P>Thomas Stensitzki is a leading technology consultant focusing on Microsoft messaging and collaboration technologies and the owner of Granikos GmbH &amp; Co. KG. He is an MVP for Office Apps &amp; Services and an MCT Regional Lead. As a user group organizer, he hosts the Microsoft Teams User Group Berlin and the Exchange User Group DACH.</P> <P>Twitter: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A><BR />Blog: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A> <BR />Teams User Group: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A> <BR />Exchange User Group: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> <P><BR />To write your own blog on a topic of interest as a guest blogger in the Microsoft Teams Community, please submit your idea here: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> Wed, 24 Mar 2021 16:13:12 GMT Thomas Stensitzki 2021-03-24T16:13:12Z Microsoft Teams and on-premises mailboxes: Part 1 – How do Teams and Exchange Server interact? <P>The calendar application is an essential component of Microsoft Teams. This application's task is to display your calendar from the personal mailbox. You access the calendar app directly from the app bar within your Teams client. The following screenshot shows the Microsoft Teams web client as an example.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Calendar.png" style="width: 605px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Calendar.png" alt="Calendar.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Microsoft Teams contacts the Teams Backend Services in Microsoft 365 to get calendar information from the Teams Backend Services to display the users' calendar. The Backend Services get the required information from the Exchange mailbox. This access is not a problem for mailboxes hosted in Exchange Online, as Microsoft 365 provides the required access paths and permissions for your tenant.</P> <P><BR />Your on-premises Exchange Organization must meet specific requirements to provide access for Microsoft Teams. These technical prerequisites bring additional complexity into daily operation, which has its troubleshooting challenges. As an IT administrator, you need to know the individual components involved and their interaction to handle problems efficiently.</P> <P><BR />In this first article, I focus on the technical components and the requirements to make local Exchange mailboxes accessible for Microsoft Teams. The following two blog posts show you your options and tools for troubleshooting connectivity issues to on-premises mailboxes.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Microsoft Teams (Backend) Services</STRONG></FONT><BR />In contrast to other software clients that access an Exchange mailbox, calendar access in Microsoft Teams is not done by the Teams client itself, but rather by the so-called Teams Middle-Tier, which is part of a set of Teams Backend Services, independently of the client. Client access to other Microsoft 365 services, such as SharePoint Online or OneNote, is done directly.<BR />The following diagram shows how Teams clients access the Teams Backend Services.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="backend services.png" style="width: 605px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="backend services.png" alt="backend services.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>We only focus on the two components highlighted with a red rectangle, the Teams Services and Exchange. The connection between Teams Backend Services and Exchange is drawn as a simple line in the diagram, but it is precisely this connection that needs your attention to make Microsoft Teams work with on-premises mailboxes.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Calendar Access Overview</STRONG></FONT><BR />When a user accesses the calendar app in a Microsoft Teams client, the client queries the calendar information from the Teams Backend Services. The request uses the user's login name (e.g.,, which is supposed to be the primary email address. <BR />Let us assume the user uses as a login when starting the Teams client.</P> <P><BR />In the first step, after receiving the calendar request from the Teams client, the Teams Backend Services perform an AutoDiscover V2 query on Exchange Online (1). The Teams Backend Services always query first because the services assume that Exchange Online has the necessary information for calendar access to John Doe's mailbox.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Exchange.png" style="width: 605px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Exchange.png" alt="Exchange.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>In this example, the mailbox is in an on-premises Exchange organization, Exchange Online replies with an HTTP 302 redirect response. As a result, the Teams Backend Services need to determine the local Exchange organizations endpoints using AutoDiscover V2 independently. The services use the domain part of John Doe's email address for the request, which is</P> <P><BR />In step (2), the Teams Backend Services tries to determine the default AutoDiscover endpoint using the DNS name provided in the HTTPT 302 response. After successful DNS resolution, the services establish an anonymous AutoDiscover V2 connection using HTTPS. Exchange Server responds to this request with the local Exchange organization's URL information configured as ExternalUrl attributes for the virtual Exchange Server directories.</P> <P><BR />Authenticated access to the Exchange mailbox only takes place in step (3). The AutoDiscover V2 requests use anonymous requests for performance reasons. Teams Backend Services uses OAuth-Authentication when accessing the Exchange Web Services' endpoint and reading calendar information. The Backend Services services then prepare the calendar information and respond to the Teams client request.</P> <P><BR />After receiving the Teams Backend Services response, the Teams client displays the calendar app icon for John Doe.</P> <P><BR />The requirements for this process to function correctly are:</P> <UL> <LI>Correctly configured Azure AD Connect with Exchange Hybrid option enabled</LI> <LI>Synchronization of all on-premises mailbox users to Azure AD</LI> <LI>Exchange Organization published to the internet</LI> <LI>Exchange Server 2019 or 2016 running the latest cumulative updates</LI> <LI>Exchange namespace correctly configured in the external DNS zone</LI> <LI>Configured AutoDiscover endpoints for all primary email domains in the external DNS zones, accepting non-authenticated requests</LI> <LI>Configuration of Exchange Classic Full Hybrid Mode using Hybrid Configuration Wizard</LI> </UL> <P>With a hybrid Exchange configuration that meets these requirements, the use of on-premises mailboxes with Microsoft Teams works.</P> <P><BR />Exchange Server is a very tolerant server application that you can operate in very different configurations. Individual deviations from the preferred architecture of Exchange Server and a hybrid configuration with Microsoft 365 lead to possible errors when using Microsoft Teams with on-premises user mailboxes.</P> <P><BR />I highly recommend reading the Microsoft Docs article <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Troubleshoot Microsoft Teams and Exchange Server interaction issues</A>, when encountering problems with your on-premises mailboxes and Microsoft Teams.</P> <P><BR />In the next two blog posts, I will take a closer look at calendar access and calendar delegate situations and the possible sources of errors and options for error analysis.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Links</STRONG></P> <UL> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Requirements to create and view meetings for mailboxes hosted on-premises</A></LI> </UL> <P><BR />Thomas Stensitzki is a leading technology consultant focusing on Microsoft messaging and collaboration technologies and the owner of Granikos GmbH &amp; Co. KG. He is an MVP for Office Apps &amp; Services and an MCT Regional Lead. As a user group organizer, he hosts the Microsoft Teams User Group Berlin and the Exchange User Group DACH.</P> <P><BR />Twitter: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A><BR />Blog: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A> <BR />Teams User Group: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A> <BR />Exchange User Group: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>To write your own blog on a topic of interest as a guest blogger in the Microsoft Teams Community, please submit your idea here: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> Tue, 23 Mar 2021 15:00:00 GMT Thomas Stensitzki 2021-03-23T15:00:00Z Secure Microsoft Teams with Microsoft 365 Policies <P>Information security understanding is becoming more and more crucial for Enterprises in the last 40-50 years, and it is inevitable for any industry to protect resources against cybercrime or attacks. These security demands are further challenging in the Pandemic era where people are working remotely. However, Microsoft® Teams - a trustworthy centralized collaboration system providing greater security within Microsoft 365 through security, compliance, and protection offerings - is making organizations safe and employees more productive. Although Teams has its own org-wide policies (Teams policies, meetings policies, messaging policies and much more to control users accesses and information from <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Teams Admin center</A>), it is essential to configure security within Microsoft 365 to protect teams that is strongly coupled with SharePoint, Exchange, OneDrive, and any other integrated services as per the org need.</P> <P><BR />In short, Microsoft Teams as one of the Microsoft 365 applications leverages security advantages from SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange by default. For example, as a site member, if a user is not allowed to access a file stored in Teams’ SharePoint site, the same experience will be inherited in the team for the user, even though they can access the teams. All these workloads further can be configured-investigated-secured for Microsoft Teams in Microsoft 365 using various security, protection and compliance Microsoft 365 policies described as follows:</P> <P><BR /><EM><STRONG>Note:</STRONG> This article only covers Microsoft 365 policies that can be leveraged in Microsoft Teams Security; for more information on other security and compliance features apart from Microsoft 365 policies, go to the “Learn More” section of this article located at the bottom.</EM></P> <P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Security and Protection Policies for Teams</STRONG></FONT><BR />Microsoft Teams as a part of Microsoft 365 services allows to configure essential Microsoft 365 security and protection policies such as Safe attachment policy, safe link policy, conditional access policy, data encryption policy as described below to protect teams content as per the organization need. A good way to start is checking the Microsoft Secure store to know the organization security posture – the higher the number, the greater the security - available at <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft 365 Security center</A> as indicated in the following screen.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="secure score.png" style="width: 507px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="secure score.png" alt="secure score.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Based on the security score, you can make an action plan from the “Improvement Actions” to further boosting security score; for example, “Require MFA for administrative roles,” which prevents attackers from accessing important information in case of admin password leakage or Restrict anonymous users from joining meetings which helps to align with company regulation such as external partner, must have a valid account to join the Teams meeting. Additionally, security score also helps to compare your security score with similar organizations as yours as explained <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A>.</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="4"><STRONG>Safe Attachment policy</STRONG></FONT><BR />With safe attachment policy, you can protect users from opening or sharing the malicious files in SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams. When a file is identified as suspicious as indicated in the following screen, users cannot access that file; however, they can delete it.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="files.png" style="width: 546px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="files.png" alt="files.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>It is recommended to block the malicious files while configuring Safe Attachment policy from the Microsoft 365 Security center as indicated in the following screen.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="safe attachment.png" style="width: 752px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="safe attachment.png" alt="safe attachment.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Please find more information <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A> to turn on safe attachments policy in SharePoint, OneDrive and Microsoft Teams. Improve your action plans further when malicious links are found as explained <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A>.</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="4"><STRONG>Safe Links policy</STRONG></FONT><BR />Safe links policy protects users from accessing the malicious links in emails, documents, and Teams conversations. This policy settings, allow to implement URL scanning and determine how user would interact with the link. For example, if user clicks in a link in teams chat, it shows warning page with malicious link information as indicated in the following screen.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="safe links.png" style="width: 500px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="safe links.png" alt="safe links.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>It is a best practice to enable the “Do not allow users to click through to original URL” setting while configuring the Safe links policy as indicated in the following screen to protect users from clicking malicious URLs.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="safe links policy.png" style="width: 752px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="safe links policy.png" alt="safe links policy.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Please find more information on how Safe links policy can be configured and how it works <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A>.</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="4"><STRONG>Conditional Access policy</STRONG></FONT><BR />Conditional access policy helps enforcing the desirable access controls such as allow/block access to user based on users, locations, devices, and applications to make organization secure by unexpected app access as indicated in the following screen:</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="conditional access.png" style="width: 641px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="conditional access.png" alt="conditional access.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>For example, if a conditional access policy includes “Microsoft Teams” as a cloud app, then it will be applicable to specified users based on other criteria such as device/location/client application from where app will be accessed. And, when the specified user in the conditional access policy sign into Microsoft Teams, it would display a message as follows:</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="access.png" style="width: 420px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="access.png" alt="access.png" /></span></P> <P>For more information about conditional access policy, please find the documentation <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A> explaining overview, deployment and commonly used conditional policies in the organization.</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="4"><STRONG>Data Encryption Policy</STRONG></FONT><BR />Data encryption policy is a part of setting up Customer key for encrypting the content at application level that provides additional layer of security to align with organization compliance obligations, for example, leaving Microsoft 365 service. Now, you can have the customer key assigned for Microsoft teams to encrypt new Teams files stored in SharePoint online via single Data encryption policy at tenant level. As a customer you can revoke the access when you decide to leave the Microsoft 365 service, which deletes the cryptography of the data to meet security and compliance regulations.<BR />To achieve encryption for Microsoft Teams using DEP and customer key, upload the keys in Azure Key vault and grant access to SharePoint online service. By doing so, the user’s file will be encrypted and accessible. However, the moment, keys are deleted when you decide to leave the service, users will not be able to access files from SharePoint Online as it will throw a message as follows as service has no information available to encrypt the data.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="data encryption policy.png" style="width: 633px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="data encryption policy.png" alt="data encryption policy.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>This layer of security does not allow anyone to access the data even from Microsoft, so as a customer you can be rest assured on the controls of your data. Please find more information about strengthening your data by setting up data encryption policy for Microsoft Teams using customer keys here.</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Compliance policies for Teams</STRONG></FONT><BR />Microsoft 365 compliance policies help Microsoft Teams to match organization compliance guidelines through Information Barrier policy, Communication compliance policy, sensitivity label policy, data loss prevention policy and retention policy as described below. To know more compliance features apart from compliance policies, please review “Learn More” section located at bottom.</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="4"><STRONG>Information Barrier Policy</STRONG></FONT><BR />To regulate Teams communication between specific users for the compliance reason, an Information Barrier policy comes in handy that blocks/allow access between set of users to communicate by determining communication restrictions. For example, when team owner tries to add user in the teams affected by information barrier restriction, then it will show following message:</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Information Barriers.png" style="width: 557px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Information Barriers.png" alt="Information Barriers.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>This policy can be triggered at 1:1 chat, group chat, meeting invitation, screen sharing, phone calls, adding user as guest. For more information, on IB policy, please click <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A>.</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="4"><STRONG>Communication Compliance Policy</STRONG></FONT><BR />Communication Compliance policies in Microsoft 365, help detecting and acting up on unprofessional messages within the Microsoft Teams that may put your organization at risk. This helps regulating internal and external communications as per the organization standards. It also detects unexpected activities such as increasing Teams channel or volume of messaging data. Configuring Communication compliance policies support healthy culture between organization and employees. Behind the scenes, it uses machine learning over signals coming from various channel such as Exchange, Teams, Yammer, and Skype for Business. For example, as a Communication Admin, you can set up the policy for Teams that matches any offensive words defined in the condition as indicated in the following screen and as reviewer, you can get the trigger when that matches. Learn about planning and configuring communication compliance <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Communication Compliance Policy.png" style="width: 665px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Communication Compliance Policy.png" alt="Communication Compliance Policy.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="4"><STRONG>Sensitivity Label Policy</STRONG></FONT><BR />Sensitivity label policy help secure and protect content in Microsoft teams which are created during the collaboration for example, creating or editing team. For instance, as an administrator, you want to allow users to create only private channels. In that case, create and publish sensitivity label called “Confidential” with the “Private” privacy option. Next, when user create a team and apply “Confidential” label to the team, User will only see “Private” as a privacy option as indicated in the following screen. Please find more information on sensitivity labels for Microsoft Teams <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="sensitivity label policy.png" style="width: 996px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="sensitivity label policy.png" alt="sensitivity label policy.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="4"><STRONG>Data loss prevention policy</STRONG></FONT><BR />Prevent people from sharing sensitive information relevant to your business with internal or external users in Teams chat and channel messages by defining the data loss prevention policy. For example, if user sends a social security number in the Teams channel which is prevented by DLP policy created in Microsoft 365 compliance center, then the DLP policy automatically detects an action and block the message as indicated in the following screen.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="data loss prevention.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="data loss prevention.png" alt="data loss prevention.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>You can also configure sending the incident reports to relevant users, when sensitive information is shared with specific instances at one time. Please find more information about DLP policies in the Microsoft Teams <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A>.</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="4"><STRONG>Retention Policy</STRONG></FONT><BR />Retention policy helps to manage the Teams chats per the organization policies, legal requirements, or industry standards. For example, you can create a retention policy to delete the Teams chat after five years as indicated in the following screen. It also provides configuration settings such as retain chat data, delete it, or retain it for a specific period and then delete it. Please find more information about how retention policy works for Microsoft Teams <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="retention policy.png" style="width: 752px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="retention policy.png" alt="retention policy.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Learn More</STRONG></FONT><BR />Further information on security, privacy and compliance features, please have a look <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A>. Know latest Teams announcement on security and compliance from <A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A>.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Dipti Chhatrapati</STRONG> is a passionate and ambitious Microsoft Professional with more than 12 years as a Developer, Consultant, Architect, and Manager for SharePoint (2007, 2010, 2013), Office 365, and Power Platform projects. Learn more at <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Insightrun with Dipti C</A>.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>To write your own blog on a topic of interest as a guest blogger in the Microsoft Teams Community, please submit your idea here: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> Thu, 18 Mar 2021 16:00:00 GMT Dipti Chhatrapati 2021-03-18T16:00:00Z Microsoft Teams Community Update February 2021 <P>It is hard to believe it is just one year since all of us around the world began staying at home due to COVID-19 and though it's been quite the challenge, it's taught us how important it is to lean on each other. Through all the bad…the isolation, an overload of work, concern for loved ones, fear of the unknown, and wondering if life will ever get back to normal, there have been some silver linings. I've heard great stories of people around the community starting podcasts with one another without ever meeting in person, individuals digging into the Microsoft Technical Community to interact with others during down time, and event organizers opening their virtual doors to the world allowing for global audiences and speakers to interact with one another. Thank you for allowing Microsoft Teams to be a big part of your life the past year. We are looking forward to a brighter year ahead and excited for the innovation yet to come.<BR /><BR />We had an exciting Ignite week last week and in case you missed it, some of our MVPs recapped the following Microsoft Teams sessions. Have a read:</P> <OL> <LI><A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Ignite Live Blog: FS189 - Easy, intuitive webinars with Microsoft Teams</A></LI> <LI><A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Ignite Live Blog: FS191 - Secure and Compliant Collaboration with Microsoft Teams</A></LI> <LI><A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Ignite Live Blog: FS192, OD380, OD378 - Latest Innovations in Teams Calling and Meetings</A></LI> <LI><A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Ignite Live Blog: KEY06 - The Hybrid Workplace</A></LI> </OL> <P>If you are interested in sharing your knowledge, experience, or story with community, we’d love to hear from you. We invite all community members to participate in the Microsoft Teams Community Blog Space <A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>; submit your blog idea at <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>As announced last month, Microsoft Teams Engineering would like to recognize community members who make significant contributions to improving the product and sharing their knowledge with community by presenting the <STRONG>Microsoft Teams Community Star Award</STRONG>; I am excited to share the community member we'd like to recognize for February 2021. It's not a surprise the Microsoft Teams space in the <A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tech Community</A> has seen significant growth over the past year given the increase in use. With that increase comes a need for community members to participate by sharing tips and tricks, experiences, and answering questions of others. Every month since May 2020, <STRONG>Christian Jernqvist Bergström</STRONG>, an M365 and Teams specialist in Sweden, has been one of the top 5 contributors to the discussion board (in February 2021 he was number one!) and has replied to a total of 2131 posts since becoming a member in February 2020. With a new baby at home, it's a miracle Christian had time to tend to others and it's a true testament to his love for community. Thank you, Christian Bergström, for your commitment to Microsoft Teams, for your passion of the product, but mostly - thank you for your love of helping others. You are a true Community Star! (Anyone can nominate an individual for the Microsoft Teams Community Star Award - MVPs are not eligible).</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>The thought of getting together is exciting and it seems like there is a light at the end of the tunnel with many <STRONG>community events</STRONG> confirming in-person event dates. I'd like to share a few of the events we're looking forward to. For a full list, please visit: <A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>. If you have your own user group or community event, be sure your event is listed in the Tech Community.<BR /><BR />We celebrated International Women's Day on March 8th and the <STRONG>Women in Teams Community</STRONG> hosted the second monthly gathering on the 9th. All women and allies are invited to participate in monthly gatherings with Microsoft and Community speakers and regular discussions in Microsoft Teams. This month, we welcomed @Sandya Rao, Principal Group Product Manager for Personal and Small Room Devices for Microsoft Teams, and Community Members and allies Peter Rising and David Patrick. To join, please sign-up at <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>. All are welcome.<BR /><BR />On behalf of the Microsoft Teams Engineering Team, we wish you health, happiness, and a Happy March. We love seeing you on camera but we're very much looking forward to seeing you in person soon.<BR /><BR />Stay well, <BR />Laurie</P> Tue, 09 Mar 2021 19:35:22 GMT Laurie Pottmeyer 2021-03-09T19:35:22Z What we’ve been learning about using Microsoft Teams for Virtual Consultations <P>At Modality Systems, I've been managing our virtual consultation service, <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">OneConsultation</A>, since 2018, and whilst before the Covid-19 pandemic, video consultations and telemedicine were used in specific services and use cases, it was never considered a realistic alternative way of delivering healthcare services for the masses.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Virtual consultations gain traction</STRONG></FONT><BR />The crisis has brought necessity, innovation, and a complete change of thinking – which I think is here to stay.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>And it must be here to stay. Offering virtual consultations, through Microsoft Teams – or any vendor for that matter – is crucial for a number of reasons. And none of them are related to the pandemic.</P> <P>Virtual consultations solve the following problems:</P> <UL> <LI>Lack of patient mobility</LI> <LI>No access to transport</LI> <LI>Fear of hospitals</LI> <LI>Fear of infection</LI> <LI>Unable to take time off from work</LI> </UL> <P>Initiatives from vendors have certainly helped.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Many UK National Health Service (NHS) trusts have adopted Teams, for instance, thanks to the offer from Microsoft enabling NHS staff to use Teams for free during the Coronavirus outbreak.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>This has enabled staff and patients to get used to video calls internally whilst working from home which has made the adoption of virtual consultations a lot quicker.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG><FONT size="5">What is a virtual consultation?</FONT></STRONG><BR />You might also hear virtual consultations referred to as <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">remote consultations</A> or online consultations. Ultimately, these are all the same.</P> <P><BR />Virtual consultations provide healthcare providers with an alternate method of diagnosing and treating patients. By switching to virtual consultations, clinicians, doctors, and patients benefit from accessibility improvements, fewer cancellations, and faster appointments.</P> <P><LI-VIDEO vid=";t=28s" align="center" size="large" width="600" height="338" uploading="false" thumbnail="" external="url"></LI-VIDEO></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Most virtual consultation systems need tailoring for the specific needs of the healthcare sector. Customisation can assist with the fact that patients are often vulnerable and struggle with technology.</P> <P>Healthcare appointments rarely run to time so being able to offer a simple waiting room experience rather than rearranging email-based calendar appointments has proven beneficial to us.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Clinicians can simplify the join experience even further by sending patients a SMS message contain a link directly to the consultation. They just then tap that link to join.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Most consultations are also one-to-one and highly confidential. Security is therefore vital, as is the ability for healthcare providers to connect with patients from their smartphone, laptop, or tablet with just one click.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG><FONT size="5">Rapid adoption of virtual consultations</FONT></STRONG><BR />Of course, we only have the stats available from our own virtual consultation software, OneConsultation.</P> <P><BR />When you think about how many telehealth platforms exist, scaling our numbers to match the number of platforms is quite extraordinary.</P> <P><BR />As of the end of August 2020, OneConsultation had supported over 100,000 different consultations across 541 different services.</P> <P><BR />This amassed to 36,000+ hours of video. The average call length being around 22 minutes.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>The <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">average length of an in-person appointment</A> is only 17 minutes. So, the intangible benefits of more and better patient-doctor time must be mentioned too.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="oneconsultation.jpg" style="width: 698px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="oneconsultation.jpg" alt="oneconsultation.jpg" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>We discuss at length the benefits of virtual consultations with all our clients. But, the most important factor is understanding <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">how virtual consultations and virtual clinics benefit patients</A>.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG><FONT size="5">What happens next?</FONT></STRONG></P> <P>We continue to push and promote virtual consultations in a market heavily dominated by <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">telemedicine platforms</A> that don’t offer the functionality of Microsoft Teams.</P> <P><BR />While we’ve seen tremendous uptake on our virtual consultation service, the healthcare world is full of providers struggling to offer (or not able to offer) a virtual alternative to an in-person appointment.<BR />We see no reason healthcare providers - and healthcare patients – shouldn’t have access to the same mobility and productivity benefits that a desk worker has.</P> <H4><BR /><BR /><STRONG>Tom Scott</STRONG> is a Product Manager at Modality Systems. Read more about <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Teams virtual consultations</A> and how <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Modality can help</A>.</H4> <H4><BR />To write your own blog on a topic of interest as a guest blogger in the Microsoft Teams Community, please submit your idea here: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A> &nbsp;</H4> Mon, 22 Feb 2021 16:00:00 GMT TomScottModality 2021-02-22T16:00:00Z Join us in the Microsoft Teams Community - 2021 <P>As Community Lead for the Microsoft Teams Engineering team, I want to <STRONG>THANK YOU</STRONG> for being part of the Community.&nbsp; I think we can all agree that 2020 was a challenging year for all of us, and Microsoft Teams played an enormous role in staying connected to family and friends, and for enabling us to stay productive at work. With the sudden spike in usage and the quick need to pivot on existing roadmap items due to changing demands, it would have been impossible without all of you working together as a community to share experiences, best practices, and to help us shape the product based on your real-world needs.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>As a team, we are proud of the interaction we have with customers, partners, MVPs, and community leaders worldwide. Through attending community events, reading blogs, listening to UserVoice and having discussions at events like Ignite, we are constantly learning from you. I wanted to take a moment to share some of the exciting things going on with the Microsoft Teams Community and invite you to be involved.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>New for 2021 is the <SPAN style="font-weight: bold;">Microsoft Teams Community Star Award</SPAN>. This monthly award is presented to someone who has made a significant one-time or on-going contribution to the Microsoft Teams Community making impact on the product. Anyone can <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">nominate</A> an individual for the Microsoft Teams Community Star Award.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><SPAN style="font-weight: bold;">We would like to congratulate&nbsp;<LI-USER uid="5311"></LI-USER>&nbsp;who has been named our first Microsoft Teams Community Star Award winner for the month of January.</SPAN> An active member of the community, Mark runs the Microsoft Teams Community Event out of the UK, Commsverse. During the start of Covid-19, he was one of the first event organizers who was forced to move his event to a virtual environment. He did so with creative ideas, pushing the limits as a creative problem-solver. Mark worked very close with the Microsoft Teams product group to share real-world feedback around the virtual event scenario to help drive relevant, timely product feedback. He pulled off a successful virtual event with only a few weeks of planning and shared his experience with other event organizers to help ensure their success. Mark is an expert on Microsoft Teams and has a strong background in telephony. We look forward to participating in <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Commsverse June 29-30, 2021</A> and the many learning opportunities leading up to the big event. <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Follow Mark Vale on Twitter</A> @MarkVale83 or find him on <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">LinkedIn.</A></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Several members of the Microsoft Teams Community have come together to organize a <SPAN style="font-weight: bold;">Women in Microsoft Teams Community</SPAN>&nbsp;with the purpose of collaborating, sharing ideas and learning from each other in a virtual setting. <SPAN style="font-style: italic;">All are welcome</SPAN> and monthly gatherings will kick-off February 2nd. If you're passionate about Microsoft Teams and interested in being part of this group, please join. <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Register</A> here and you'll be added to the team to start collaborating!&nbsp;</P> <P><IFRAME src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></IFRAME></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Since we aren't able to travel and be in-person like we've done in the past, the community has gotten very creative with ideas to keep attendees engaged and continue delivering rich content across a variety of topics with audiences, worldwide. One of the benefits to virtual events is the ability to attend and engage with different people in places you may not have been able to visit, otherwise. We urge you to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge and global experiences the community is sharing. You can find a list of regional and worldwide User Groups and Events in the <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Technical Community Event Listings</A>. If you have a UG or Event to share, please add it to the Event Listing!</P> <P>Here are a few I have on my personal list; I hope you'll join!</P> <P style="margin: 0in; margin-left: .375in; font-family: Calibri; font-size: 11.0pt;"><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Commsverse</A>, Weybridge, UK: June 29-30, 2021</P> <P style="margin: 0in; margin-left: .375in; font-family: Calibri; font-size: 11.0pt;"><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CommsvNext</A>, Denver, CO, USA: August 19-20, 2021</P> <P style="margin: 0in; margin-left: .375in; font-family: Calibri; font-size: 11.0pt;"><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">European Collaboration Summit</A>, Wiesbaden, Germany: June 14-16, 2021</P> <P style="margin: 0in; margin-left: .375in; font-family: Calibri; font-size: 11.0pt;"><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Get-CSLatam</A>, Mexico City, MX: TBD</P> <P style="margin: 0in; margin-left: .375in; font-family: Calibri; font-size: 11.0pt;"><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft 365 Collaboration Conference</A>, Las Vegas, NV, USA: December 7-9, 2021 + Spring 2021 Announced Soon!</P> <P style="margin: 0in; margin-left: .375in; font-family: Calibri; font-size: 11.0pt;"><A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">TeamsCommunityDay 2021</A>, Virtual from Germany: January 28, 2021</P> <P style="margin: 0in; margin-left: .375in; font-family: Calibri; font-size: 11.0pt;"><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Teams Nation</A>, Virtual from UK: May 12, 2021</P> <P style="margin: 0in; margin-left: .375in; font-family: Calibri; font-size: 11.0pt;"><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Thrive Conference</A>, Slovenia: April 13-14, 2021</P> <P style="margin: 0in; margin-left: .375in; font-family: Calibri; font-size: 11.0pt;">&nbsp;</P> <P>If you haven't already been monitoring <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">this blog space</A>, I hope you will take time to check out the many articles written by members of the community for the community. Not only do we hope you'll share your own experiences and knowledge in the <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">discussion board</A>, we do hope you'll consider authoring your own blog. There's so much knowledge and we can learn so much from each other and our different experiences. If you have something to write about, please <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">submit your topic</A> at <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A> for consideration.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Until next month...Be well! #CommunityRocks</P> Tue, 20 Apr 2021 18:14:48 GMT Laurie Pottmeyer 2021-04-20T18:14:48Z An Introduction to Power Virtual Agents for Microsoft Teams <P>Over the past few years, it has become increasingly easier to create powerful chatbots with little to no code. Now almost anyone can quickly create a deploy a chatbot with ease. Power Virtual Agents is a premium add-on to the Power Platform that allows you to create and deploy such bots.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>However, as part of Dataverse (previously called Project Oakdale) many Microsoft 365 subscribers have access to Power Virtual Agents for Microsoft Teams. These chatbots are covered under their Microsoft 365 licensing and require no premium licensing to develop, deploy, or use.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>There are limitations with the Power Virtual Agents for Microsoft Teams. Unless you upgrade to a full Power Virtual Agents subscription you will not be able to:</P> <UL> <LI>Deploy chatbots to a specific Channel or specific Team.</LI> <LI>Utilize premium connectors in Power Automate</LI> <LI>Access and Update the source code for the bot using the Bot Framework</LI> </UL> <P>You can find out more about licensing for Power Virtual Agents at&nbsp;<A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Don’t let this dissuade you though! Even with these limitations, users can build exceptionally powerful chatbots with little to no effort with an intuitive interface. Using Power Virtual Agents for Microsoft Teams users can:</P> <UL> <LI>Create and deploy bots to the left rail in Teams that other users in your organization can take advantage of</LI> <LI>Use Power Automate flows to connect to other systems, send emails, and perform other business logic</LI> <LI>Create bots that prompt users with follow up questions, use conditional logic, and help guide the user to perform their tasks</LI> <LI>Review and analyze the performance of the bot, such as what questions are being asked the most, and how effective the bot is at understanding and answering questions</LI> </UL> <P>It’s really amazing what you can accomplish. Check out the following video to show you how quickly and easily you can get started building chatbots with Power Virtual Agents for Microsoft Teams.</P> <P><LI-VIDEO vid=";ab_channel=MarkRackley" align="center" size="large" width="600" height="338" uploading="false" thumbnail="" external="url"></LI-VIDEO></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>To recap some of features I show you in the video:</P> <UL> <LI>Users create Power Virtual Agents by using the “Power Virtual Agents” application located in Teams</LI> <LI>A “Topic” is a specific job or conversation thread that bot executes. Topics have “trigger” phrases to determine if a user is wanting to perform a certain task. For example, “Hello” and “Hi” would trigger the “Greeting” Topic.</LI> <LI>There are a handful of default topics already created that users can customize as needed (ie: Greeting)</LI> <LI>You can create actions (Power Automate Flows) where data can be passed into the flow and returned back to the Power Virtual Agent.</LI> <LI>Using the Authoring Canvas, you can create conditional branches and prompt users for more information (check out the pre-baked “Lesson 3” Topic when you create a bot for good example).</LI> <LI>You can pass the Azure ID of the user interacting with the bot to Power Automate in order to retrieve specific information about the user (in the video I retrieve the current user’s Manager)</LI> <LI>If you run into issues while testing, be sure to “Reset” your bot.</LI> <LI>When you update your bot, it may be necessary to start a conversation with “Start over” to get your updated changes.</LI> </UL> <P>All in all, Power Virtual Agents for Microsoft Teams is one of my new favorite things and I look forward to digging into it more. Check it out! You might surprise yourself with what you can build!</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>To find out more about Power Virtual Agents for Microsoft Teams you can visit: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>I’d love to hear your thoughts on Power Virtual Agents for Microsoft Teams and how you are taking advantage of them in your organization!</P> Mon, 11 Jan 2021 16:54:56 GMT Mark Rackley 2021-01-11T16:54:56Z Teams Direct Routing and Local Media Optimization <P>Teams Phone System and Direct Routing is more important than ever because it helps companies and their employees to stay connected with their office number even if they are working from home.<BR />To gain best audio quality in a PSTN phone call it is important to understand how local media optimization can support this scenario and how to configure it.</P><P><BR />With Teams Phone System in general companies can close the gap between working from anywhere and still stay connected with the office phone number. This is an often-underestimated scenario. Users can use legacy technologies like VPN securely to get a company access from home. They can use Office 365 services like Exchange Online and SharePoint Online to collaborate with colleagues and get work done. But one missing piece is most often left out: the desk phone in the office. With a legacy PBX system, it is difficult to bring the office phone number at home to the user. Here Microsoft Teams Phone System can help and support you. The Microsoft Teams Client will be extended by PSTN calling and the user is reachable under the office number in their home office or wherever they like to work.<BR />But as often: there is no joy without sorrow. The network part and especially the WAN connection is critical. If the roundtrip time for the audio packages in the network is not optimal, users are complaining about bad audio quality and the well-intended solution can turn into a fiasco.</P><P><BR />To offer the best experience for your users, Microsoft provides several techniques and features to optimize the media flow for this scenario.</P><P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Media Flow in Microsoft Teams– some basics</STRONG></FONT><BR />In case of Microsoft Teams, we must two types of media flow. The first scenario is a 1:1 scenario. Microsoft Teams always tries to use the shortest network path for transmitting the data packages. In this 1:1 scenario this is a direct connection between the two endpoints. To optimize the flow even further, Microsoft Teams will try to establish a UDP connection first and will switch to a TCP connection if the first one is not possible.</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Figure 1.png" style="width: 915px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Figure 1.png" alt="Figure 1 - Media flow 1:1 call" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 1 - Media flow 1:1 call</span></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>The second scenario is the Meeting scenario. A meeting scenario can be a scheduled online meeting, but also when you start a one on one conversation and add a third person to it, it will be turned into a meeting. And in case of a meeting, the media flow is always to the Office 365 platform as the central meeting platform.</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Figure 2.png" style="width: 915px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Figure 2.png" alt="Figure 2 - Media Flow in Teams Meeting" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 2 - Media Flow in Teams Meeting</span></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>In case of PSTN Calling with Teams Direct Routing a session border controller is required. A session border controller (SBC) terminates the PSTN connection from the provider and routes inbound calls to the Teams platform and vice versa. Therefor the media flow for a PSTN call is slightly different because there is at least one more hop: the SBC itself where the audio packages will be routed through.</P><P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Media Flow and Microsoft Teams Direct Routing – default scenario</STRONG></FONT><BR />In a default scenario without Media Optimization, the audio packages will be routed from the SBC to the Microsoft Teams platform and from there to the Teams endpoint. In case of an employee inside the company, the media stream traverses the firewall twice: first time from the SBC to Office 365 and for a second time from the Office 365 platform to the user. As you can imagine this costs bandwidth and, of course, package runtime.</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Figure 3.png" style="width: 915px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Figure 3.png" alt="Figure 3 - Default Media Flow with Teams Direct Routing" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 3 - Default Media Flow with Teams Direct Routing</span></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>How to optimize Media Flow with Teams Direct Routing – Media Bypass</STRONG></FONT><BR />The first step to optimize the media flow is a well know technique from Microsoft Lync and Skype for Business deployments: Media Bypass.</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Figure 4.png" style="width: 915px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Figure 4.png" alt="Figure 4 - Media Flow with Teams Direct Routing and Media Bypass" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 4 - Media Flow with Teams Direct Routing and Media Bypass</span></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>If the Microsoft Teams endpoint can communicate directly to the SBC external IP address, the call is established with Media Bypass. This means that the audio data are transmitted directly between the Teams endpoint and the SBC itself. The audio data does not traverse the firewall and the routing is optimized. Additionally, you have the option to prioritize Microsoft Teams audio data in your network with Quality of Service.</P><P><BR />With a current firmware release installed on the SBC and Local Media Optimization, you can configure the SBC to provide an internal facing network adapter to use for Media Bypass, too. The Teams client will send and receive the audio packages to and from an internal IP address of the SBC directly.<BR />In the past, you had to configure the external interface with the public IP address for Media Bypass, so that internal clients use the external IP for a direct connection. This made it very hard and complex because your firewall had to support this scenario.</P><P><BR />The advantages are very simple: the media flow stays in your local network and you can control it better with Quality of service. Also, the firewall configuration is much simpler for this scenario.</P><P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Local Media Optimization with Centralized SBC for Branch Offices</STRONG></FONT><BR />For your branch offices you can use Media Bypass as a centralized SBC, too. In this scenario the different phone number ranges for your offices will terminate on one SBC in your datacenter. The SBC will do the routing between the users in the branch offices and the Microsoft Teams platform.</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Figure 5.png" style="width: 915px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Figure 5.png" alt="Figure 5 - Media Flow with Media Bypass from the Branch Office" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 5 - Media Flow with Media Bypass from the Branch Office</span></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Local Media Optimization with Proxy SBC</STRONG></FONT><BR />A second option for your branch office can be to implement a Proxy SBC in your main datacenter and local SBC systems on site. In this scenario, the Proxy SBC is used for the central communication to the Microsoft Teams platform. The SBC in the branch site is responsible for the local PSTN connection and will route calls over the Proxy SBC to Microsoft Teams and vice versa.</P><P><BR />In this scenario a Proxy SBC can help to reduce the requirements to your infrastructure. Only a single SBC instance must be configured to work with Microsoft Teams. Also, it is often used where a centralized SBC is not possible when there are some regulatory or the onsite SBC does not meet the technical requirements.</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Figure 6.png" style="width: 915px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Figure 6.png" alt="Figure 6 - Proxy SBC for the Branch Office" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 6 - Proxy SBC for the Branch Office</span></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Can Home Office users participate from Media Bypass?</STRONG></FONT><BR />Of course, Media Bypass and local Media Optimization also provides some benefits for your home office and mobile users.</P><P><BR />Microsoft provides several Transport Relay servers in their worldwide datacenters. Best practice is to allow the Teams subnet networks to communicate to the public SBC IP address for media traffic. It is also possible to open the SBC public IP address to your mobile worker, but it is quite difficult to manage this. Each time they connect to the internet, they will use another public IP address. Therefor my recommendation is to allow only the Teams subnet networks to your SBC public IP and to benefit from the Microsoft Global Network.</P><P><BR />If you are doing so, the audio data from the home user will be transmitted to one of the nearest Transport Relay server of the Microsoft Global Network. Pay attention that your users can use a local internet break out and reach the nearest egress point to the Microsoft Global Network. The Microsoft Transport Relay server will connect to the SBC directly and will establish a communication. And here is the same behavior: the path from the Microsoft Global Network to your SBC will be shorten to the most necessary. That is why even your home user will benefit from Media Bypass. The runtime of the audio packages is optimized with the help of the Microsoft Global network.</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Figure 7.png" style="width: 915px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Figure 7.png" alt="Figure 7.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>How to configure Media Bypass and local Media Optimization</STRONG></FONT><BR />To configure Media Bypass and Local Media Optimization you must check if your installed SBC firmware already supports this feature. If not, ask your vendor for a current release and install it on the SBC.</P><P><BR />Then you must configure your network topology in the Microsoft Teams Admin Center, so the Teams platform is aware of your network infrastructure. You can allow or decline Media Bypass in two ways, as we already know from the good old times: Always ByPass or Local Only.</P><P><BR />In case of Always ByPass the Microsoft Teams endpoint tries to connect directly to the SBC every time, regardless of where the user is located in your network.</P><P><BR />When you configure Local Only, Media Bypass will only be used, if the user is in the same network site as the SBC. If each one is in a separate network site, the media flow is routed to a Microsoft Transport server and then to the SBC.</P><P><BR />Therefor you must configure Regions and Sites in the Teams Admin Center or with PowerShell. Next you assign your networks to a site. You must configure the trusted WAN IP addresses as well. Theses are the public IP addresses used by your users to connect to Microsoft Teams. According to this information and the network topology, Microsoft Teams will allow to use Media Bypass for the endpoint.</P><P><BR />The last step is to enable Media Bypass on the SBC level in the Teams Admin Center or on the PowerShell.</P><P><BR />More information can be found on Microsoft Docs <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Configure Local Media Optimization for Direct Routing</A></P><P>&nbsp;</P> Wed, 09 Dec 2020 07:00:00 GMT Thorsten Pickhan 2020-12-09T07:00:00Z 5 things you may not know about Microsoft Teams <P>Everybody loves Microsoft Teams, right? Even before the world of Covid-19, Teams was Microsoft’s fastest adopted product in their history. Teams brings us so much, all in one place. We have chat, files, audio and video calls, apps, and so much more. When you open up Teams at the start of your day, there is little that you cannot do without having to change to another app. So much goodness is baked right into Teams!</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>What I love just as much though, is that there are so many hidden gems in Teams. Cool features that will help you to be productive, access the information that you need to get to quickly and easily, and help you to manage your work/life balance.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>In this blog, I will take a look at some of the lesser known hidden gems that are available to you within Microsoft Teams right now. So, without further ado, here are 5 of the most underrated Teams features that you need to know about, and you will wonder how you ever did without them!<BR /><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>1. The Search Bar</STRONG></FONT></P> <P>When you open up Microsoft Teams, the search bar is right at the top of your screen. If you are new to Teams, and need a bit of help, this is a great tool to help you find your way around.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Search Bar.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Search Bar.png" alt="Figure 1 – The search bar in Microsoft Teams" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 1 – The search bar in Microsoft Teams</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>By placing your cursor in the search bar, and pressing the / key, you are presented with a list of useful commands that you can use. This is shown in <STRONG>Figure 2</STRONG> below.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Commands.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Commands.png" alt="Figure 2 – Commands available from the search bar" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 2 – Commands available from the search bar</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>An example of one of the available commands is <STRONG>/find</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Find Command.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Find Command.png" alt="Figure 3 – The Find command" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 3 – The Find command</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>When you choose the <STRONG>/find</STRONG> command and hit enter, you will first see the option to search within a <STRONG>Channel</STRONG> or <STRONG>Chat</STRONG> as shown in <STRONG>Figure 4</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Find Channel Chat.png" style="width: 884px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Find Channel Chat.png" alt="Figure 4 – Use /find in Channel/Chat" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 4 – Use /find in Channel/Chat</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>In the example in <STRONG>Figure 5</STRONG>, I have chosen my chat with <STRONG>Adele</STRONG>, and searched the chat for the word <STRONG>Anaheim</STRONG>. Any search matches are displayed in the <STRONG>Results</STRONG> pane on the left of the page and selecting one of the results takes you directly to it.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Find Results.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Find Results.png" alt="Figure 5 – Chat /find results" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 5 – Chat /find results</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Some additional quick and easy ways to use the search bar in Teams are to pressing <STRONG>Control + F</STRONG> (Command + F on Mac OS) to quickly carry out a search as shown in <STRONG>Figure 6</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Control F.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Control F.png" alt="Figure 6 – Use Control + F to search" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 6 – Use Control + F to search</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>You may also press <STRONG>Control +</STRONG> . (Command + . on Mac OS), to quickly view a list of useful keyboard shortcuts.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Control Plus.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Control Plus.png" alt="Figure 7 – Use Control + . to view keyboard shortcuts" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 7 – Use Control + . to view keyboard shortcuts</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Go and try these out, and you will see how useful the search bar is and what a powerful tool it can be.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>2. Switch easily between devices during meetings</STRONG></FONT></P> <P>Teams meetings have become a way of life for many of us, but they can consume a lot of your time. What if the meeting you are attending overruns and you need to **bleep** out in the car to run an errand or do the school run? Well, Teams has you covered again!</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>In the following example, I have joined a meeting on Teams from my laptop as shown in <STRONG>Figure 8</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Meeting.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Meeting.png" alt="Figure 8 – Teams meeting in progress" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 8 – Teams meeting in progress</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>The meeting is overrunning, and I need to get in my car to run some errands. No problem, I grab my iPhone (you can use Android devices too) and I open the Teams App. In <STRONG>Figure 9</STRONG> we can immediately see at the top of the screen that we have an option to join the meeting from here.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Meeting Mobile.png" style="width: 400px;"><img src=";px=400" role="button" title="Meeting Mobile.png" alt="Figure 9 – Join the meeting on your mobile device" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 9 – Join the meeting on your mobile device</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>We have two choices on joining the meeting on our mobile device as shown in <STRONG>Figure 10</STRONG>. These are:</P> <UL> <LI>Add this device – Join without audio on this device and keep your other device in the meeting</LI> <LI>Transfer to this device – Join with audio on this device and leave the meeting on your other device automatically</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Add Transfer Device.png" style="width: 185px;"><img src=";px=400" role="button" title="Add Transfer Device.png" alt="Figure 10 – Add this device, or transfer to this device" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 10 – Add this device, or transfer to this device</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>In this example, I will choose the second option to transfer to this device.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Transfer.png" style="width: 185px;"><img src=";px=400" role="button" title="Transfer.png" alt="Figure 11 – Transfer to this device" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 11 – Transfer to this device</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>When I select <STRONG>Transfer</STRONG> now, I am placed into the meeting on my iPhone as shown in <STRONG>Figure 12</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Meeting Transferred.png" style="width: 185px;"><img src=";px=400" role="button" title="Meeting Transferred.png" alt="Figure 12 – Meeting now transferred to mobile device" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 12 – Meeting now transferred to mobile device</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>So now I can stay in the meeting whilst getting on with some other tasks on the go.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>3. Channel Announcements</STRONG></FONT></P> <P>Announcements in channels is another feature that many people do not seem to know about. Let’s see how it works.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>From any channel within Teams, click on the <STRONG>New conversation</STRONG> button shown in <STRONG>Figure 13</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="New Conversation.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="New Conversation.png" alt="Figure 13 – New conversation in a channel" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 13 – New conversation in a channel</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Click on the format icon (which is the first icon on the left shown in <STRONG>Figure 14</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Format Icon.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Format Icon.png" alt="Figure 14 – Choose the format icon" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 14 – Choose the format icon</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>The New conversation options will expand as shown in <STRONG>Figure 15</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Conversation Options.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Conversation Options.png" alt="Figure 15 – New conversation options" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 15 – New conversation options</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Click the dropdown next to <STRONG>New conversation</STRONG> and you have the option to choose <STRONG>Announcement</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Choose Announcement.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Choose Announcement.png" alt="Figure 16 – Choose Announcement" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 16 – Choose Announcement</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>The announcement format is shown in <STRONG>Figure 17</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Announcement Options.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Announcement Options.png" alt="Figure 17 – The announcement options" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 17 – The announcement options</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>I can now type in my announcement headline, sub-heading, and the announcement itself. If I choose the ellipsis, I can choose some further options for my announcement such as <STRONG>Mark as important</STRONG>. This is shown in <STRONG>Figure 18</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Important.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Important.png" alt="Figure 18 – preparing your announcement" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 18 – preparing your announcement</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>You may also choose some color and image settings if you wish, and when you are ready to post your announcement, click <STRONG>Send</STRONG>. Your announcement will now be visible to all in the channel as shown in <STRONG>Figure 19</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="New Announcement.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="New Announcement.png" alt="Figure 19 – New announcement posted to channel" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 19 – New announcement posted to channel</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Announcements are a really great way to grab your colleague’s attention with important information that you post to a channel. Go and give them a try!</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>4. Share to Teams</STRONG></FONT></P> <P>Whilst Teams is very much the product of the moment, email is still very much alive and kicking and Outlook is one of the most important tools we have available to communicate efficiently. What if you receive an email though, and you immediately think that email contains some great information that you would like to share with your colleagues in Teams?</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Outlook.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Outlook.png" alt="Figure 20 – Microsoft Outlook" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 20 – Microsoft Outlook</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>This is where Teams channel email addresses come in. By clicking the ellipsis on your Teams channel, you will see the option to <STRONG>Get email address</STRONG>. This is shown in <STRONG>Figure 21</STRONG>.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><EM><STRONG>Note: The Email integration features must be enabled from the Teams admin center in order for this feature to work.</STRONG></EM></P> <P><EM><STRONG><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Channel Email.png" style="width: 578px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Channel Email.png" alt="Figure 21 – Get the channel email address" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 21 – Get the channel email address</span></span></STRONG></EM></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Click <STRONG>Copy</STRONG> to get the email address for your channel.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Copy Address.png" style="width: 704px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Copy Address.png" alt="Figure 22 – Copy the channel email address" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 22 – Copy the channel email address</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Now we can return to Outlook and open the email that we wish to share with the Teams channel. Click to forward the email and paste the channel email address into the <STRONG>To</STRONG> field.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Forward.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Forward.png" alt="Figure 23 – forwarding an email to the Teams channel" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 23 – forwarding an email to the Teams channel</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>After you send the email, it will appear in the Teams channel immediately as shown in <STRONG>Figure 24</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Email Posted.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Email Posted.png" alt="Figure 24 – The email is now posted to the Teams channel" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 24 – The email is now posted to the Teams channel</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>You can also reverse this process and share content from the Teams channel back to Outlook as shown in <STRONG>Figure 25</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Share To Outlook.png" style="width: 903px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Share To Outlook.png" alt="Figure 25 – Share to Outlook" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 25 – Share to Outlook</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>A very useful way to share information between Teams and Outlook quickly and easily!</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>5. Pin favorite channels</STRONG></FONT></P> <P>Last, but not least, we have the ability to pin your favorite channels. As Teams users, we can very quickly find ourselves as members of a number of different Teams and channels. The list can grow very quickly. What if you want quick and immediate access to the channels that you work with the most on a daily basis? No problem, channel pinning has you covered!</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Let’s say we want to pin the <STRONG>Sales West</STRONG> channel shown in <STRONG>Figure 26</STRONG>. All we need to do is highlight the channel, click the ellipsis, and choose <STRONG>Pin</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Pin Channel.png" style="width: 400px;"><img src=";px=400" role="button" title="Pin Channel.png" alt="Figure 26 – Pinning a channel" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 26 – Pinning a channel</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Now the channel is shown right at the top of the Teams window in the <STRONG>Pinned</STRONG> section as shown in <STRONG>Figure 27</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Pinned Section.png" style="width: 400px;"><img src=";px=400" role="button" title="Pinned Section.png" alt="Figure 27 – Pinned section" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Figure 27 – Pinned section</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Pinning is so quick and easy and helps you to get to content in your favorite channels in Teams!</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Summary</STRONG></FONT></P> <P>So, these are 5 of my favorite lesser known features within Microsoft Teams that you need to know about!&nbsp; In truth, it was hard to pick just 5, so maybe we can do a follow up post sometime and show you some more amazing features!</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>I hope you enjoy these features and find them as useful as I do!&nbsp; Please do feel free to reach out and let me know about any of your own favorite Teams features that you would like to share with the community!</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Thanks for reading!</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Take care</P> <P>Peter</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> Wed, 02 Dec 2020 16:00:00 GMT PeterRising 2020-12-02T16:00:00Z Stay in Teams: Using Microsoft Teams with External Apps like Slack and Webex <P>Want your workforce to stay in Microsoft Teams? Just roll it out, right? Wrong!</P> <P><BR />Microsoft supports over 75 million daily active Teams users. But the app hasn’t wiped out the competition yet. Many companies are using alternative apps alongside Microsoft Teams. For example, <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">63% of companies using Microsoft apps are using Slack in parallel</A>. Users who have to navigate between Teams and another app either spend all day switching between apps or risk a huge gap in communication and information.</P> <P><BR />So, how do you stay in Microsoft Teams and empower full collaboration?</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Microsoft Teams in the current collaboration landscape</STRONG></FONT><BR /><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Workplace silos</A> are a common problem in today’s app-rich environment. Experimentation with video conferencing, file sharing, and productivity tools leads to app sprawl. Flexera Software found <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">64% of businesses have more apps than they need</A>.</P> <P><BR />Internally, companies end up with fragmented app portfolios for various reasons. <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Mergers and acquisitions</A> combine different styles of working with preferred apps for each team. New talent comes into the office and struggles to switch to a new environment. Just because most of your staff love Microsoft Teams, doesn’t mean there aren’t other apps in play. Even if you manage to get all employees on the same app internally, the challenge isn’t over.</P> <P><BR />What if your external contacts aren’t Teams users? How do you connect with a contractor on Webex while staying in Teams?&nbsp;If external contacts are in Teams, is a guest account on your channel enough?</P> <P><BR />Now, we’ve set the scene, the rest of this blog post details how your users can <STRONG>stay in Microsoft Teams</STRONG> and still communicate with users in external apps like Slack and Webex.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>How to stay in Microsoft Teams when communicating with people on Webex</STRONG></FONT><BR />For external contacts, the easiest way to chat with Webex Teams users while staying in Teams is by creating a <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">universal channel</A>. Universal Channels for Microsoft Teams simplify collaboration. The app connects your <STRONG>Microsoft Teams chats</STRONG> and your <STRONG>external contact’s Webex Teams chats</STRONG>.</P> <P><BR />If you send a message in Teams to a contractor on Webex Teams, they’ll see it without having to switch tools. Webex Teams users can message Microsoft Teams users and vice versa. There are no guest accounts needed and no app-swapping actions required.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="1.gif" style="width: 697px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="1.gif" alt="1.gif" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>You can even connect Microsoft Teams for one business to another Teams instance.&nbsp;All you need to do is <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">install a universal channel</A> and choose Microsoft Teams as your app.</P> <P><BR />Once created, send the link to your universal channel and your external contacts can join from their app of choice.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="2.png" style="width: 602px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="2.png" alt="2.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Once they join, you’ve connected your Microsoft Teams account to their Webex Teams account. Just like that, <EM>there’s no reason to leave Microsoft Teams</EM>.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Are there other ways to connect Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex?</STRONG></FONT><BR />Installing a universal channel is the only way to link chat, emojis, and file-sharing between Webex Teams and Microsoft Teams.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Want to connect Microsoft Teams users with Cisco Webex Teams calling features? There’s an option for that too. Cisco announced the <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Call App for Microsoft Teams</A> in April 2020.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="3.png" style="width: 752px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="3.png" alt="3.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>To access this feature, search Cisco Webex Meetings app in Teams and install. Your users will need to have activated Webex Control Hub accounts. Users also need to access Cisco Webex Calling or the UC manager.</P> <P><BR />Go to the Microsoft Teams Admin Center and click <STRONG>Teams Apps</STRONG>. Click on <STRONG>Manage Apps</STRONG> and search for <STRONG>Webex Calls</STRONG>. Toggle the app on.</P> <P><BR />Remember to update your permissions policies in the <STRONG>Teams app</STRONG> menu. Click on <STRONG>Setup policies</STRONG> and allow access to third-party apps. You’ll be able to use the Webex tab in Microsoft Teams to view upcoming meetings. You can also start, schedule, and join Webex meetings on this tab.</P> <P><BR />Remember, this function only connects <STRONG>calling</STRONG> features.</P> <P><BR />Other connection options for Cisco Webex and Microsoft include:</P> <UL> <LI><STRONG>Using bots:</STRONG> IFTTT bots are an option for those with developer knowledge. With bots, you can set up notifications. These alerts appear in Microsoft Teams when someone shares something in Webex.</LI> <LI><STRONG>Cisco Meetings app:</STRONG> There’s a Cisco Webex Meeting app for Microsoft Teams. Downloading this app lets you schedule Webex Meetings without leaving Teams.</LI> </UL> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>How to stay in Teams and talk to Slack Users</STRONG></FONT></P> <P>What if some employees in your company use Slack instead of Teams?&nbsp; A common scenario is that a small pocket of Slack users exists in your engineering or marketing teams. Through personal preference, <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">shadow IT</A> is common in most businesses.</P> <P><BR />By enabling <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">message interoperability</A> in your communicate estate, you can sync your internal Teams users with your internal Slack users.&nbsp;This means your employees who use Slack – either on the sly or approved – can now message cross-platform to their colleagues who are using Teams.</P> <P><LI-VIDEO vid=";ab_channel=Mio" align="center" size="large" width="600" height="338" uploading="false" thumbnail="" external="url"></LI-VIDEO></P> <P><BR /><STRONG>How does it work?</STRONG><BR />When you install Mio in the background, you choose which channels and teams to synchronize so you and your colleagues are always on the same page.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Once connected, Mio syncs all the features your teams depend on every day:</P> <UL> <LI>Direct messages</LI> <LI>Threaded messages</LI> <LI>File uploads</LI> <LI>@ mentions</LI> <LI>Emoji reactions</LI> <LI>Message editing</LI> </UL> <P>By translating messages from Microsoft Teams to Slack (and vice versa), your Teams users can stay in Teams and stop using Slack.</P> <P><BR /><STRONG>What about external contractors who prefer Slack?</STRONG><BR />As is the case for connecting Microsoft Teams to Webex Teams, you can set up a universal channel to message cross-platform and cross-company to users in Slack.</P> <P><BR />When you create a universal channel, the tool grabs messages from Slack and delivers them to Microsoft Teams. (And vice versa).</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="4.png" style="width: 336px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="4.png" alt="4.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>It’s the easiest way for your team members to stay in Teams while communicating with Slack users. You can send messages this way, files, and even emojis. There’s no need to switch between apps for you or your contacts.</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Can you connect Slack and Microsoft in other ways?</STRONG></FONT><BR /><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Slack and Microsoft Teams introduced a VoIP integration</A> in April 2020.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Install the Microsoft Teams Calls app and you can launch Teams calls in Slack. The shortcuts button on Slack will give you instant access to Teams calling. You can also use the /Teams-calls command to achieve the same results.&nbsp;</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="5.png" style="width: 460px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="5.png" alt="5.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Unfortunately, this integration only goes one way. It doesn’t bring any Slack functionality into Teams.</P> <P><BR />An alternative option might be to use webhooks. With webhooks, you might let Slack messages on one channel appear on a channel in Teams. Unfortunately, webhooks aren’t scalable. You can’t connect endless channels and teams.</P> <P><BR />APIs and bots may offer another alternative. Microsoft has a <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Slack connector</A> in its inventory allowing for some crossover. You can join Slack channels from Teams and set triggers for events. You can even set “Do Not Disturb” statuses for Slack users from Teams.</P> <P><BR />Again, you have limited options here.&nbsp;There’s no connection for direct messages or sending files from one platform to another.&nbsp;You could try building your own app if you have the knowhow. Unfortunately, functionality only goes as far as your building skills allow.&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>How to connect with Microsoft Teams external users?</STRONG></FONT><BR />So, what if everyone you want to reach is on Teams, but not in the same workspace? Maybe you need to reach contractors with another Teams instance.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>One solution is guest access. Setting up guest access lets people use your Teams instance, with limited functionality. For example, your contacts still need to log out of their Teams tenant.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Another option is federation.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>You have a few options here:</P> <UL> <LI><STRONG>Open federation:</STRONG> Open federation lets people find you on Teams. It also lets people in your company find, call, and chat with external parties. Users in this environment can chat with all domains using Skype for Business or Teams. The other company must be using open federation too, or have you added to their allow list.</LI> <LI><STRONG>Specific federation:</STRONG> Go onto Org-wide settings and <STRONG>External access</STRONG>. Here, add companies to your Allow list. Only the domains you allow can reach you. Teams block all other domains.</LI> <LI><STRONG>Block specific domains:</STRONG> Stop certain people from reaching you. Microsoft Teams supports blocking certain domains. Adding domains to your <STRONG>block</STRONG> list prevents connections with dangerous domains.</LI> </UL> <P>Whether your scenario is time burned switching between apps that aren’t Teams or lost information and productivity flicking between accounts, there are ways to remedy this.</P> <P><BR />What to do next?</P> <P><BR /><EM>Read over this blog post again now you’ve identified your pain point. Use the steps provided to sync your Microsoft Teams instance with other apps so you (and your team) need never leave Teams again!</EM></P> Tue, 20 Oct 2020 15:02:30 GMT DomKent 2020-10-20T15:02:30Z Enable your remote workforce to work with Microsoft 365 and Teams with enhanced security <P>Microsoft 365 enabled all its consumer to use Microsoft 365 workloads from everywhere/anywhere. Microsoft has built data center in almost all the regions which help customers to connect closed data center from your office egress and remote work locations. But still many corporates are not willing to allow their remote work force to connect directly to closet Microsoft 365 front door, and wants users to connect company VPN and then let route traffic to Microsoft 365 via egress which cause latency and performance issues. For Workloads like Microsoft teams, Its wider impact on performance which use media traffic for calls and meetings and doesn’t like to pass the traffic via VPN concentrator.</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>We all can agree on this that, cloud solution has given a seamless platform to connect services from anywhere but increased security and compliance threat in proportionally, And this is the fear in organization causing to not let them allow direct connectivity to Microsoft 365, even today most of the workforce is working from home due to COVID-19 outbreak.</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>You can use Microsoft enhanced security feature and Azure policy to enable remote users to work directly with Microsoft 365 and provide a great user experience. We must implement the security controls at mainly two level.</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px"><FONT size="5"><STRONG>1. End Point Level</STRONG></FONT><BR />Using below solutions and tools, you can make sure that your user’s endpoints are secure, safe and qualifying to connect Microsoft 365 services directly.</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px"><STRONG>a) Patching</STRONG><BR />An automated patching system should be in place to regularly patch the end-points like SCCM to meet the defined threshold of the compliance policy.</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px">&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px"><STRONG>b) Defender ATP</STRONG><BR />Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection is a complete end-points security tool delivers preventative protection, post-breach detection, automated investigation, and response. The beauty of this solution is, it’s not only detect the threat but immediately response and help to remediate vulnerabilities and misconfigurations.</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px"><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Picture1.png" style="width: 537px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Picture1.png" alt="Picture1.png" /></span></P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px">&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px"><STRONG>c) Antivirus</STRONG><BR />Systems should be protected with antivirus with the latest updates. If your organization is only having windows 10 OS environment, Microsoft Defender Antivirus is automatically enabled and installed on them. But if you have mixed environment then you need to use third party antivirus with combination of Defender AV. You can go Microsoft Defender Antivirus compatibility for more details.</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px">&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px"><STRONG>d) EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response)</STRONG><BR />As name suggest, when a threat is detected, alerts are created in the system for an analyst to investigate and The response capabilities give you the power to promptly remediate threats by acting on the affected entities. It’s part of Microsoft defender ATP.</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px">&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px"><STRONG>e) Device Compliance</STRONG></P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px">&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px"><FONT size="5"><STRONG>2. Azure Level</STRONG></FONT></P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px"><STRONG>a) Azure AD Device Registration</STRONG><BR />Your device needs to be registered with azure AD. Azure AD registered devices are signed in to using a local account and additionally have an Azure AD account attached for access to organizational resources like Microsoft 365. Access to resources in the organization can be further limited based on that Azure AD account and Conditional Access policies applied to the device identity.</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px"><BR />Administrators can secure and further control these Azure AD registered devices using Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools like Microsoft Intune.</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px">&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px"><STRONG>b) Multi factor authentication</STRONG><BR />Users should be enabled to Azure MFA to access Microsoft 365 apps from external. The MFA requirement would be enforced with conditional access policy which will allow users to consume the service. The exclusion can be setup for admins accounts if required so they can connect PSshell script without MFA to manage the service without any interruption.</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px">&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px"><STRONG>c) Conditional Access policy</STRONG><BR />Conditional access policy is a feature part of azure active directory to enforce the company policy based upon clients signals and decision. You need to setup conditional access policy to grant Microsoft 365 app access from external locations (Each organization may have different requirements, so they need to work with their IT security to implement it), The grant control can be enforced as per the requirements.</P><P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Setup Conditional access policy</STRONG></FONT></P><P>Once you have made sure the above pre-requite for machines is in place, now you are good to configure conditional access policy to meet the requirements aligned with company IT security, which will let end user to connect M365 and teams from external.</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Picture2.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Picture2.png" alt="Picture2.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px"><STRONG>a) Create a new CA policy</STRONG></P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px">• Sign in to the Azure portal as a global administrator, security administrator, or Conditional Access administrator.<BR />• Browse to Azure Active Directory &gt; Security &gt; Conditional Access.<BR />• Select New policy.<BR />• Give your policy a name.</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Picture3.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Picture3.png" alt="Picture3.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px"><STRONG>b) Grant access to clients for the conditions required</STRONG></P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Picture4.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Picture4.png" alt="Picture4.png" /></span></P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px"><STRONG>c) Allow “apps”</STRONG></P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px">• Select “cloud apps or actions” in the new conditional policy options<BR />• In “Select what this policy applies to” select “cloud apps”<BR />• Click on “Include” and pick “Select apps” radio button<BR />• Now in the apps, you need to select the apps which you want to allow to access from external for example, Microsoft Teams.</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-60px">&nbsp;</P><P>You need to allow SharePoint and exchange apps as well as Teams use one drive, Messaging and SharePoint in background for several used cases.</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>How it works?</STRONG></FONT></P><P>Now, I am connected with open internet and trying to login with my teams desktop app. Yes, I can sign-in successfully and use the teams over open internet.</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Picture5.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Picture5.png" alt="Picture5.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>To verify the end-end connectivity, I am checking my IP address got from service provider which is “”. you can use <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">whatismyipaddress</A> web tool.</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Picture6.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Picture6.png" alt="Picture6.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>Now, Go into azure active directory &gt; Sign-ins and find out the user logged-in into teams. You would see the above IP address connecting you.</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Picture7.png" style="width: 977px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Picture7.png" alt="Picture7.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>As above stated, Using the strong security control you can enable your end users to access M365 and teams from outside and provide them better experience with good performance.</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>&nbsp;</P> Wed, 30 Sep 2020 15:00:00 GMT Anil Singh 2020-09-30T15:00:00Z The challenges of running a Microsoft Teams migration in a non-IT company <P><STRONG>Customer Story:&nbsp;</STRONG>Within this story, I will give you some insights into how user adoption is different between a company comprised of mainly office workers and a company where the main focus is to create, sell and maintain key infrastructure components on a global market.</P><P><BR /><STRONG>Customer Background:&nbsp;</STRONG>During the last months, I’ve been working with a customer who’s a “hidden champion” or global player. This company is producing devices responsible for cooling in industrial, transportation, tourism, building and many more sectors. Their headquarters is in Germany.</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>Due to the focus on creation, sales and production, the number of people sitting behind a desk is just one third of all employees and IT is just something that must work 24x7.</P><P><BR />The last component to make it even more difficult is the fact that this company is a holding of multiple single companies, part of the company group over months or even years, but still not (fully) integrated from the IT perspective.</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>So, let’s start with the hard facts:</P><UL><LI>60 locations worldwide<UL><LI>Sizes from 3 to 500 people in each office</LI><LI>Larger ones with standalone IT</LI></UL></LI><LI>No overall governance or policy to enforce specific technology or trainings</LI><LI>Small central IT with multiple local supports / admins</LI><LI>Every country has its own company with a local Director, responsible for IT as well</LI><LI>Microsoft 365 E5 licenses are available for all desk workers but mostly used for Office suite licensing only</LI></UL><P><STRONG>Customer Target:&nbsp;</STRONG>We’ve started with the target to implement Office 365 as “another” IT solution additionally to the local IT like file servers, email systems, Skype for Business, etc.. Some in the cloud and some on-premises.</P><P><BR />Over the initial implementation phase, we’ve figured out that Microsoft 365 needs more governance and principals to ensure a secure environment, combined with Azure infrastructures.</P><P><BR />The main goal for the project became a M365 full stack implementation with the main driver: <STRONG>Microsoft Teams</STRONG>.</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Adoption insights</STRONG></FONT><BR />We’ve started with a small but important step: we’ve involved the central IT and especially the IT Director, responsible for all IT decisions within the whole group and first contact for any IT questions of the local directors. He’s also in direct discussions with the C-Level executives for business decisions like “more cloud” or “less cloud."</P><P><BR />From a general change management perspective, we’ve made our first alliance with the Management level.</P><P><BR />The next step was to identify people who are involved in many business processes in the company and willing to help the IT department for the implementation.</P><P><BR />We found these people in a special group of persons, distributed in every department and on a global level: the assistants.</P><P><BR />These people already had strong experiences by creating global projects and bringing some new digital workstyles into the whole company group like travel management portal. Another benefit is the direct contact of these assistants with the head of departments or even the C-Level itself. These people became the champions for the whole project.</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>We’ve created a strong relationship with these assistants by creating 2 weekly calls, providing direct trainings, sharing knowledge of the M365 products as well as the current project status for our global rollout.</P><P><BR />Anyhow, all of them had different backgrounds for IT, beginning from a person with more knowledge of the manufacturing process as the PC handling, to someone who delivers IT trainings to multiple departments within the customer group.</P><P><BR />Our initial idea was to run the following deployment process:</P><UL><LI>Creation of the team can be done via Head of Department or Assistance only</LI><LI>Every user will be enabled for Teams right away and we will announce trainings etc. on a central platform</LI><LI>Rapid rollout</LI></UL><P>Within the regular champions call we’ve tried multiple trainings ideas and asked for feedback about them:</P><UL><LI>Create an internal knowledge base with know-how articles</LI><LI>Online articles from Microsoft</LI><LI>Self-created Training materials<UL><LI>Just consumption</LI></UL></LI><LI>Self-created training tasks / challenges<UL><LI>Small references to Microsoft and internal training material to provide help</LI></UL></LI><LI>Offer open office hours</LI><LI>Create a test team with full access to create</LI><LI>Providing showcases with a dedicated trainer</LI></UL><P>With the experiences of our Champions network, we’ve adjusted our plans. One was an “easy to use” Teams online request form, based on a request template with basic questions for all users AND the other one was the decision to provide more training and start with another rollout approach: activate the users in groups, divided by department with a slower rollout to ensure a good user experience.</P><P>Based on these insides we’ve also identified a strong need to create valid personas for different target groups. We also made the decision to separate the persona groups by office worker and production worker.</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="1.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="1.png" alt="1.png" /></span></P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="2.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="2.png" alt="2.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>These different persona groups enforced the whole project to create different rollout plans and different training concepts.</P><P><BR />The following onboarding concept has been used for the office workers:</P><P><STRONG><FONT size="5">Marketing&nbsp;</FONT></STRONG></P><UL><LI>Internal newsletter with the announcement of Microsoft Teams is coming</LI><LI>Intranet-Posts on the daily startup page in the browser</LI><LI>Article / extra in the internal news page magazine</LI></UL><P><STRONG><FONT size="5">Pilots</FONT></STRONG></P><UL><LI>Low risk pilots with IT friendly users</LI><LI>Creating best practices and marketing</LI><LI>Create a show case to visualize the success</LI></UL><P><STRONG><FONT size="5">Build up a Champions community</FONT></STRONG></P><UL><LI>Create a champions community with interested people</LI><LI>Clarify the future role as a direct contact during rollout</LI><LI>Announce these champions directly</LI></UL><P><STRONG><FONT size="5">Rollout - Communication</FONT></STRONG></P><UL><LI>Start with e-mail communication before the rollout starts<UL><LI>multiple weeks before as announcement</LI><LI>couple of days before rollout with a description what happens during the rollout</LI><LI>1 day before with some reference links to training material</LI></UL></LI><LI>Send out a welcome Mail and invite to a welcome team with reference and training material as announcement during rollout</LI><LI>Floor walkers offer a help on migration date</LI><LI>Multiple open office hours during the whole migration phase</LI><LI>Provide direct and anonymous feedback via feedback forms</LI></UL><P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Rollout - Trainings</STRONG></FONT></P><UL><LI>Invite for a kick-off when the rollout happens in the background</LI><LI>Provide mandatory basic trainings</LI><LI>offer optional advanced trainings</LI></UL><P>But this was just the on-boarding concept. We also needed a training concept as well.<BR />Based on our experience with the champions and the feedback of the PoC / pilot users, we’ve decided to offer multiple training options, instead of single one. But the key for the rollout kick-off was a classroom training where all user of the migration wave should meet some of the champions and get some first hands-on experiences within the test-team.</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Before and during rollout</STRONG></FONT></P><UL><LI>Provide training<UL><LI>materials via internal knowledge base (multi-lingual)</LI><LI>Know-How videos (multi-lingual)</LI></UL></LI><LI>Create a Test-Team for each wave<UL><LI>with welcome message</LI><LI>specified trainings / hands on experience tasks for testing</LI><LI>Add Microsoft Teams (and additional) licenses to the users of the current wave 1 day before the kick-off is planned</LI></UL></LI></UL><P><STRONG><FONT size="5">During Kick-Off Event</FONT></STRONG></P><UL><LI>Add these users to the Test-Team</LI><LI>Present basic, quick enable knowledge during Kick-Off event</LI></UL><P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Complimentary basic training</STRONG></FONT></P><UL><LI>Invitation will be send during Kick-Off event</LI></UL><P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Optional Offers</STRONG></FONT></P><UL><LI>Multiple advanced trainings for new tools and options like Planner, Forms, PowerApps, ...</LI><LI>Open office hours</LI></UL><P>During all the time we’ve got constant feedback from the champions to create an additional Q&amp;A channel to the new users but also between the champions and the IT department.</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>Due to multiple projects we’ve been aware of the general approach for office worker but for production worker, we had other needs and requirements. The production worker also has another “relationship” with IT.</P><P><BR />For the production users we had the following dependencies:</P><UL><LI>Not every worker has an account</LI><LI>Generic accounts with Internet access are used in “open areas”</LI><LI>The foreman has a direct account</LI><LI>No mobile phones in production just customized iPads</LI></UL><P>With these prerequisites, we’ve identified the following personas:</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="3.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="3.png" alt="3.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>Unlucky for the integration, but good for the adoption concept: The initial idea to implement shifts for the whole production area was rejected due to the huge invest regarding training and hardware.&nbsp;This decision reduced the change impact to a smaller set of production users: the production lead and the foreman.</P><P><BR />Over 2 weeks, we’ve evaluated the original way to work and identified typical business processes where we can bring in some benefits for the target groups.</P><P><BR />This knowledge allowed the creation of specific water-proofed handouts and quick-start guides.<BR />We’ve also created another rollout concept with single parts from the concept for desk worker but provide more production specific marketing and training strategies.</P> Wed, 19 Aug 2020 06:00:00 GMT Michael Plettner 2020-08-19T06:00:00Z Do it Yourself: A New Vision that Accelerates the Digital Transformation in All Companies <P>Do-it-yourself is now a reality for all Power Users with Microsoft Power Platform and Microsoft Teams. The Maker Culture is here to empower all users in a business so that they can create low-cost solutions to all the problems or issues in their businesses.</P> <P><BR />The development of technical solutions has changed recently. We are facing important changes in this paradigm. Nowadays, we have tools to secure and guarantee the controlled access to information that should be available only for allowed users from each company. One of these tools is Microsoft 365, that not only secures information, but also empowers our users by providing them with a platform where they can create their own solutions without depending on the IT Department.</P> <P><BR />The Maker Culture is based on the DIY (Do It Yourself) Concept. By adding all the technical components of the Power Platform, you can allow yourself and your colleagues to automate all those time-consuming processes. Imagine all the solutions that can become a reality by automizing all those repetitive processes that you have to do every day in your department.</P> <P><BR />Historically, the IT Department has focused its efforts and budget on the operations of the IT systems by guaranteeing infrastructure and software availability for everyone in the company; as well as, coordinating the adoption and execution of new tools, or creating tailored applications as needed, most of which impact directly on their business community. However, some of the processes are not a priority for the IT Department, because such processes are too long and very expensive for the company; yet they are extremely time consuming for the direct users. That is the reason why automation and low-cost solutions created by Power Users become so important for all the staff. If every user in the company has a tool that allows them to automate their daily and repetitive activities, the company and their staff will be able to have more time to do anything else.</P> <P><BR />Power Platform has come to reduce the time you and your team spend on repetitive tasks. Just imagine that in only one click you are capable of saving all the relevant information about a sale. Furthermore, you can also notify all the members of your team about every detail in just one message through Microsoft Teams and, moreover, you can create a special channel for this purpose so that you can give a follow up to your customers and keep them in the loop. Once again, imagine that everybody is updated in just one click. Wouldn't that be great?</P> <P><BR />Power Platform is made up of a set of independent tools that you can combine as it fits, according to your needs. These tools are <STRONG>Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents</STRONG>. They are so easy to use and intuitive that they become very friendly to end-users.</P> <P><BR /><STRONG>Accurate Reports with Power BI</STRONG><BR />Power BI is a great tool where you can perform Data Analysis and create not only reports, but also dashboards very easily. By integrating Power BI with Microsoft Teams, you can share a Power BI report with your colleagues just by adding a new tab in the channel inside Microsoft Teams.</P> <P><BR />We all know how important it is to have accurate, updated and 100% reliable data right there in our hands. Not counting on such data, at the precise moment could complicate, or even jeopardize the company strategy. Microsoft Teams and Power BI will keep everything up to date for you and your co-workers. </P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="PowerBI.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="PowerBI.png" alt="PowerBI.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Creating Mobile Applications Is Faster Than Ever</STRONG> <BR />Power Apps is a tool that enables you to create personalized applications that you can use in both, mobile devices, and desktops. You do not need to write a single line of code, nor to be a programmer to create these applications. The creators of these apps can publish them in the Teams Application Library in an easy way. By doing this, these apps are immediately available among all your collaborators. </P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="2.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="2.png" alt="2.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>The Power of Simplifying Processes</STRONG> <BR />To reduce the time devoted to getting down to the repetitive actions, you can create workflows with Power Automate. You can either use the different types of flows that are already created and based on templates, or create a brand-new flow starting from zero. You can also integrate applications from other third-party developers. By using this tool, you will be able to draw the attention of all of the people involved in each process to their goal-oriented task. </P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="3.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="3.png" alt="3.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Communication and Closeness for Users</STRONG> <BR />Power Virtual Agents will allow you to integrate powerful chat-bots in very little time. With this application, you will be able to offer a natural conversation to all the users in your organization. Imagine how much precious time it can help your Help Desk Team save when responding to frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) by completing this task in an automated way, using a bot that you created with no code, in a graphical interface, and without needing to have a data scientist or developer right there to help you.</P> <P><BR />With Power Virtual Agents you can empower your team by allowing them to quickly build bots in minutes, based on natural conversations. These bots can be easily integrated with services and back-end systems out-of-the-box, or through hundreds of custom connectors using Power Automate. This makes it simple to create a bot that does not only respond to the users, but that also takes actions to solve their issues. </P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="4.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="4.png" alt="4.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Templates Are A Good Beginning</STRONG><BR />Should you have in mind many of the solutions that you could create, but you do not know where to begin yet, do not worry. In the Power Platform, you will find a huge number of templates that can help you take your first steps into this task. Many of these templates, which are available into Power Platform, were created by other Power users around the world to allow future Power Users benefit from them. This is part of the “Maker Culture”.</P> <P><BR />Users around the world generously contribute with their experience and knowledge by uploading their templates because they know that there are millions of other users out there searching for the same solution.</P> <P><BR />You should start sharing your ideas with the world and be part of the “Maker Culture”.</P> <P><BR /><STRONG>CONCLUSION</STRONG> <BR />As you can see, to become a Power User, it is not necessary to have any sort of deep technical knowledge, nor sophisticated equipment. What matters here is being able to transform your capabilities, combine your knowledge and share the love you have for creating things.</P> <P><BR />So, take the Power Platform and build up the solutions that you need. Power Platform and the Maker Culture have the potential to change a company because they facilitate innovation. What really matters here is enjoying the process of being creative.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> Wed, 05 Aug 2020 14:14:35 GMT FatimaBlancas 2020-08-05T14:14:35Z Maintaining connected and collaborative culture with the Microsoft Teams Platform <P>Navigating this global pandemic and the aftermath has been one of the toughest challenges in recent times. Organizations are looking to maintain cohesivity and safely return to physical spaces. Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams can help.</P> <P><BR />This article outlines sixteen ideas for staying connected and safely managing your return to shared physical space. Please reach out to your Customer Success Manager or Account Technology Strategist for additional details.</P> <P><BR /><STRONG>Staying connected whilst working remotely</STRONG><BR />Maintaining a connected culture without being together physically is challenging. Leveraging Teams native collaboration and Teams Apps can help:</P> <UL> <LI>Let’s start with the basics of remote work - <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Enabling remote work with Microsoft 365 Series</A> - Microsoft product teams discuss the implementation of Microsoft 365 to help your employees meet and collaborate remotely, as well as engage audiences through virtual events and communications.</LI> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Company Communicator</A> – This app template enables communication teams to create and send chat messages such as work from home announcements, emergency alerts, or any organization-wide broadcast. Is Email really the best vehicle to capture employee’s attention in times of crisis?</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="2.png" style="width: 326px;"><img src=";px=400" role="button" title="2.png" alt="2.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <UL> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Custom Stickers</A> - Self-expression is core to a healthy team culture. This app template allows your users to use custom stickers and GIFs within Microsoft Teams. This template provides an easy, web-based configuration experience where anyone with configuration access can upload the GIFs/stickers they want their end-users to have, allowing your entire team to use any set of stickers you chose.</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="3.png" style="width: 271px;"><img src=";px=400" role="button" title="3.png" alt="3.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <UL> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Praise</A> - Science agrees: People are happier and more productive when they get recognition for their efforts. Send acclaim to your employees and coworkers with Praise. Deliver in a chat, or for wider recognition, send it in a channel conversation. Revel in the good vibes.</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="4.png" style="width: 216px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="4.png" alt="4.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <UL> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">IceBreaker</A> - Icebreaker is a Microsoft Teams bot that helps your team get closer by pairing two random team members up every week to meet. The bot makes scheduling easy by automatically suggesting free times that work for both members. Strengthen personal connections and build a tightly knit community with this app template.</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="5.gif" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="5.gif" alt="5.gif" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <UL> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Disco</A> - Disco is 3rd Party app that makes it easy to celebrate your company culture and values. Bring your culture online by making your mission and values visible and actionable with Disco: Recognize people in real-time when they live your values and uncover trends and metrics on values usage.</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="6.jpg" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="6.jpg" alt="6.jpg" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <UL> <LI>Virtual Coffee or Happy Hours –Virtual Coffee or Happy Hour in Teams allow for a sense of normalcy. Interaction with other humans - even virtually - is therapeutic and informal office interaction often can spur brilliant ideas.</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="7.jpg" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="7.jpg" alt="7.jpg" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <UL> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Incident Reporter App Template</A> - Incident Reporter is a Microsoft Teams bot that optimizes the management of incidents in your organization. IR can be used to track pandemic related incidents. The bot facilitates automated incident data collection, customized incident reports, relevant stakeholder notifications, and end-to-end incident tracking.</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="8.jpg" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="8.jpg" alt="8.jpg" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <UL> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Remote Support App Template</A> - Remote Support is a Microsoft Teams bot that provides a focused interface between support requesters throughout your organization and the internal support team. End-users can submit, edit, or withdraw requests for support and the support team can respond, manage, and update requests all within the Teams platform.</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="9.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="9.png" alt="9.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <UL> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Facilities Bot with FAQPlus</A> – FAQPlus is a chat bot that can ingest a wide variety of sources to create QnA pairs. FAQPlus also has escalation if users need more help. Use FAQPlus to create a Facilities Bot based on your existing assets to answer common questions like which offices are open or building sanitation procedures.</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="10.jpg" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="10.jpg" alt="10.jpg" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <UL> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Crisis Communication App</A> - Crisis Communication app provides a user-friendly experience to connect users with information about a crisis. Quickly get updates on internal company news, get answers to frequently asked questions, and get access to important information like links and emergency contacts.</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="11.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="11.png" alt="11.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Easing the return to shared physical space</STRONG><BR />As we move to re-open facilities, we need to adhere to local law and guidelines. Teams Apps can help manage reallocation of corporate resources to meet these critical priorities. </P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="12.png" style="width: 996px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="12.png" alt="12.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Again, let us start with the fundamentals - Operational Readiness – did you radically reconfigure your network to support remote workers? Some risk exists with network infrastructure as users come back to central locations en masse. Here are some key resources to help:</P> <UL> <LI>Monitor network health and quality - <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Operate your service</A> - <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Monitor quality</A> - <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Enhance your service</A></LI> <LI>Drive user momentum and adoption - <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Office 365 Adoption Guide</A> - <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Teams Customer Success Kit Adoption</A> - <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Change Management Strategy</A></LI> <LI>Prepare for new functionality - <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft 365 roadmap</A></LI> </UL> <P>Now for some apps that will help return to the Office:</P> <UL> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Book-a-room bot</A> - Book-a-room bot lets you quickly find and book a workspace on the go. Users can see available working locations, depending on the selected location/building, and select one from the list to book the space.</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="13.png" style="width: 225px;"><img src=";px=400" role="button" title="13.png" alt="13.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <UL> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Shifts</A> - This schedule management tool helps you create, update, and manage schedules for your team. <A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Key features</A> allow office managers to share available spaces to employees based on floor locations, let departments manage allocated space and publish list of suggested activities while employees are on site.</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="14.jpg" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="14.jpg" alt="14.jpg" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <UL> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Building Access App</A> - The Building Access app can be used by organizations to bring employees back to office facilities safely. The App allows facilities managers to manage facility readiness, define occupancy thresholds per floor or open space, set eligibility criteria for onsite access and allows employees to reserve an office workspace after providing self-attestation on key health questions. Executives and facility managers can use the included Power BI dashboard to gather insights needed for planning purposes.</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="15.png" style="width: 225px;"><img src=";px=400" role="button" title="15.png" alt="15.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <UL> <LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Return to Workplace Solution</A> - Reopen responsibly, monitor intelligently, and protect continuously with solutions for a safer work environment: <UL> <LI><EM>Location Readiness dashboard</EM> helps determine the readiness of the facilities and efficiently manage their safe reopening.</LI> <LI><EM>Facility Safety Management</EM> gives facility managers the tools they need to manage the reopening and readiness of the facilities.</LI> <LI><EM>Workplace Care Management</EM> gives health and safety leaders the tools they need to actively manage COVID-19 cases, identify hot spots for safety improvement, and import data from contact tracing systems to determine exposure.</LI> <LI><EM>Employee Return to the Workplace</EM> offers your workforce the self-service tool that they need to feel confident about returning and remain productive while onsite. They can use Employee Return to the Workplace to check in to work remotely and self-screen before entering a building.</LI> </UL> </LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="16.png" style="width: 644px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="16.png" alt="16.png" /></span></P> <P>See this great post from our friends in <A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Healthcare Return to work- office space distancing</A></P> <P><BR /><STRONG>Conclusion</STRONG><BR />Maintaining cohesivity is challenging while everyone is working elsewhere. We need capabilities and tooling to safely allocate space when it is time to return to the Office. Teams Platform has numerous options by way of built in capabilities and apps to help you address both challenges.</P> Wed, 29 Jul 2020 15:00:00 GMT MJHickey 2020-07-29T15:00:00Z Establecer rol de presentador predeterminado en Teams <P>Ahora que Teams está siendo fuertemente utilizado en el sector de educación, Microsoft ha estado invirtiendo más esfuerzos en agregar características a la plataforma que agreguen valor a las clases en línea que se dictan.</P><P><BR />Uno de los principales problemas reportados durante las clases, es que los estudiantes tienen predeterminadamente el privilegio de silenciar, expulsar o compartir contenido, así que se vuelve muy fácil sabotear o interrumpir. Esto es porque al unirse a una reunión recién programada, de forma predeterminada todos los asistentes tienen el rol de presentador.</P><P><BR />Para poder cambiar esto, es necesario programar la reunión y luego ir a las <STRONG>Opciones de reunión</STRONG>, ubicadas debajo del enlace de acceso:</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="1.1.png" style="width: 500px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="1.1.png" alt="1.1.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>También es posible acceder a estas opciones desde la parte superior derecha de la lista de asistentes de una llamada en curso:</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="2.png" style="width: 310px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="2.png" alt="2.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>En la página de opciones de reunión, en la lista desplegable de <STRONG>¿Quién puede presentar?</STRONG>, escoger <STRONG>Solo yo:</STRONG></P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="3.png" style="width: 822px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="3.png" alt="3.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>Al realizar este cambio, solo el organizador de la reunión tendrá el rol de presentador, y las demás personas, el rol de asistente. Para entender más sobre los roles en Microsoft Teams, pueden leer <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Roles en una reunión de Teams</A>.</P><P><BR />Aunque la configuración es bastante sencilla de realizar, es un trabajo que tendría que realizar el profesor manualmente para cada nueva reunión, por lo que se vuelve bastante propenso a errores, sea por mala configuración, porque se le olvidó o porque simplemente no se hizo. Para mitigar esto, el equipo de Microsoft Teams liberó una directiva para designar el rol de presentador de forma predeterminada, de esta forma la configuración se establecerá para toda la organización y los organizadores no tendrán que hacer el cambio manual, pero seguirá habilitado.<BR />En este artículo, explicaré cómo realizar esta configuración a través de PowerShell para toda la organización.<BR /> <BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Instalación de los módulos necesarios</STRONG></FONT><BR />Para gestionar completamente Teams, es necesario instalar dos módulos:</P><UL><LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Módulo de PowerShell para Microsoft Teams</A></LI><LI><A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Módulo de PowerShell para Skype for Business</A></LI></UL><P>&nbsp;</P><P><STRONG>Módulo de PowerShell para Microsoft Teams</STRONG><BR />Para instalar el módulo correspondiente a Microsoft Teams:</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">1. Ejecutar PowerShell ISE como administrador:</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="4.png" style="width: 339px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="4.png" alt="4.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">2. Presionar <STRONG>CTRL + N</STRONG> o ir al menú <STRONG>Archivo &gt; Nuevo</STRONG> para crear un nuevo script</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">3. En el script, digitar:</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>Install-Module MicrosoftTeams</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">4. Para ejecutarlo, <FONT color="#FF0000">seleccionar</FONT> todo el texto del comando y presionar el botón de <STRONG>Ejecutar selección (o presionar F8):</STRONG></P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="5.png" style="width: 501px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="5.png" alt="5.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">5. En la ventana de instalación del NuGet, clic en el botón <STRONG>Sí</STRONG> para continuar:</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="6.png" style="width: 766px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="6.png" alt="6.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">6.&nbsp;En la ventana del repositorio que no es de confianza, clic en Sí a todo para continuar:</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="7.png" style="width: 669px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="7.png" alt="7.png" /></span><BR /><BR /></P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">7. Guardar el script y cerrar la ventana de PowerShell</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">&nbsp;</P><P><STRONG>Módulo de PowerShell para Skyper for Business</STRONG><BR />Para instalar el módulo correspondiente a Skype for Business:</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">1. <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Descargar</A> e instalar el módulo:</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="8.png" style="width: 481px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="8.png" alt="8.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">2. Ejecutar PowerShell ISE siguiendo el primer paso de la instalación del módulo anterior y abrir el script que se guardó</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">3. Digitar en el script:<BR /><BR /></P><P>Import-Module SkypeOnlineConnector</P><P>$credential = Get-Credential</P><P>$session = New-CsOnlineSession -Credential $credential</P><P>Import-PSSession $session</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">4. Seleccionar todo y presionar el botón superior de <STRONG>Ejecutar selección</STRONG> (o presionar F8):</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="9.png" style="width: 495px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="9.png" alt="9.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">5. En la ventana de credenciales, digitar las que corresponden al administrador global en la organización y clic en <STRONG>Aceptar:</STRONG></P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="10.png" style="width: 322px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="10.png" alt="10.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">6. Dejar la ventana de PowerShell ISE abierta</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">&nbsp;</P><P><STRONG>Conectarse a Microsoft Teams</STRONG><BR />Para conectarse a Microsoft Teams:</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">1. Desde la ventana de PowerShell ISE que se dejó abierta, digitar en el script:</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">&nbsp;</P><P>Connect-MicrosoftTeams -Credential $credential</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">2. Seleccionar toda la línea y presionar el botón superior de <STRONG>Ejecutar selección:</STRONG></P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="11.png" style="width: 505px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="11.png" alt="11.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P><EM><FONT color="#FF0000">Nota</FONT>:</EM> <EM>en caso de que se haya cerrado el script, es necesario abrirlo de nuevo y ejecutar desde el paso 3 anterior para que se pueda conectar, puesto que el paso 1 de conexión a Teams da por hecho de que aún se mantiene la sesión anterior conectada y la variable de $credential.</EM></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">3. Dejar abierta la consola de PowerShell para los siguientes pasos</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P><STRONG>Creación de la directiva de rol asignado</STRONG></P><P>Para crear la directiva que aplique el rol predeterminado:</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">1. Desde el script de PowerShell, digitar:</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>New-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity DesignatedRolePolicy -DesignatedPresenterRoleMode OrganizerOnlyUserOverride</P><P><BR /><EM><FONT color="#FF0000">Nota</FONT>:</EM> el valor de <STRONG>-Identity</STRONG> corresponde al nombre que se le desea asignar a la directiva, así que puede ser diferente.</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">2. Seleccionar todo y presionar el botón de <STRONG>Ejecutar selección</STRONG> en la parte superior:</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="12.png" style="width: 872px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="12.png" alt="12.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">3. Si la directiva ejecuta bien, debe de aparecer en la consola inferior el resumen de todas las configuraciones predeterminadas para la directiva recién creada, incluyendo la del rol:</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="13.png" style="width: 544px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="13.png" alt="13.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">4. Dejar la ventana de PowerShell abierta para los próximos pasos</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P><STRONG>Asignación de la directiva manualmente</STRONG><BR />Para asignar la directiva a un usuario:</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">1. Desde la sesión de PowerShell, escribir en el script:</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">&nbsp;</P><P>Grant-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity &lt;userID&gt; -PolicyName DesignatedRolePolicy</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>Donde &lt;userID&gt; hace referencia al nombre de usuario completo al que se le va asignar la política. Por ejemplo, para el caso mío que es Cara Coleman, quedaría así:</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>Grant-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity -PolicyName DesignatedRolePolicy</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">2. Seleccionar todo el script y presionar el botón de Ejecutar selección en la parte superior:</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="14.png" style="width: 721px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="14.png" alt="14.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">3. Cerrar la ventana de PowerShell</P><P>Después de unas horas (generalmente 2 o 4), cada sesión que se agende por parte del usuario tendrá la opción de Solo yo de forma predeterminada:</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="15.png" style="width: 787px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="15.png" alt="15.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P><STRONG>Configuración de la directiva global</STRONG><BR />En caso de que más del 50 % de usuarios requieran tener esta configuración, es conveniente aplicar el cambio en la política global, de esta forma todos los usuarios podrán ver reflejado el cambio en cuestión de horas.</P><P><BR />Para modificar la política global:</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">1. Abrir el script de PowerShell que se generó anteriormente<BR />2. Ejecutar solamente esta parte:</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">&nbsp;</P><P>$credential = Get-Credential<BR />$session = New-CsOnlineSession -Credential $credential<BR />Import-PSSession $session<BR />Connect-MicrosoftTeams -Credential $credential</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">3. Una vez conectados a Teams, ejecutar:</P><P>Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity global -DesignatedPresenterRoleMode OrganizerOnlyUserOverride</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="16.png" style="width: 773px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="16.png" alt="16.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">4. Para verificar que el cambio haya quedado aplicado, ejecutar:</P><P>Get-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity global</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">5. Buscar que el valor de DesignatedPresenterRoleMode sea el de OrganizerOnlyUserOverride:</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="17.png" style="width: 518px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="17.png" alt="17.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">6. Cerrar la ventana de PowerShell</P><P>Después de aproximadamente 4 horas, cada reunión que se cree en Teams tendrá como valor predeterminado el Solo yo para el presentador:</P><P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="18.png" style="width: 787px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="18.png" alt="18.png" /></span></P><P>&nbsp;</P><P>&nbsp;</P><P><STRONG>Para tener en cuenta</STRONG><BR />Basado en mi experiencia en Colombia, quiero compartir algunos detalles:</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">1. Aunque la configuración cambia el tipo de rol predeterminado, el profesor u organizador puede ir en cualquier momento y hacer el cambio a todos o a personas específicas. No hay forma todavía de bloquear el cambio</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">2. Técnicamente, solo se necesita el módulo de Skype for Business para este cambio, puesto que se trata de configuración de llamadas</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">3. Generalmente la configuración se ve primero en la versión web que en la de escritorio. Es muy importante cerrar sesión del todo en escritorio y volver a iniciar con la cuenta</P><P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">4. La única forma de verificar y hacer los cambios es a través de PowerShell; desde la consola no se pueden ver estos</P><P>&nbsp;</P> Wed, 22 Jul 2020 15:00:00 GMT Sergio Calderon 2020-07-22T15:00:00Z Microsoft Teams and on-premises mailboxes – You need Exchange Hybrid <P>Many companies would like to implement Microsoft Teams or already use Microsoft Teams. The personal calendar is an integral and vital part when using Microsoft Teams. If you're already using Microsoft 365 and all mailboxes are hosted in Exchange Online, the personal calendar is available in Microsoft Teams for your end-users. It simply works.</P> <P><BR />If your users' mailboxes in an on-premises Exchange organization, Microsoft Teams cannot automatically access the personal calendar folder. The calendar is not available in the Teams client, and the calendar icon in the app bar is hidden. An Exchange Hybrid configuration is required to take advantage of this Microsoft Teams feature.</P> <P><BR /><STRONG><FONT size="5">What is an Exchange Hybrid configuration?</FONT></STRONG><BR />An Exchange Hybrid configuration connects your on-premises Exchange organization with your Exchange Online tenant to enable secure communication between the two environments. Such a hybrid setting is not only crucial for Microsoft Teams but also provides additional benefits for migrating mailboxes to Exchange Online and for Exchange hybrid functionality for Exchange coexistence.</P> <P><BR />The hybrid coexistence of Exchange Server with Exchange Online affects two types of communication. First, there is the mail-flow between both Exchange environments. Both environments treat such mail messages as internal messages. The second type of connection is hybrid client access, which performs essential Exchange functions, such as querying free/busy information or moving mailboxes. And it is precisely this client access that is important for Microsoft Teams accessing on-premises user mailboxes.</P> <P><BR />The following diagram illustrates how the Hybrid configuration bounds the on-premises Exchange organization and your Exchange Online tenant.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Diagram-A.png" style="width: 526px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Diagram-A.png" alt="Diagram A: Hybrid Configuration" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Diagram A: Hybrid Configuration</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>You use the Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW) to set up the Exchange Hybrid configuration. To use Microsoft Teams with on-premises Exchange mailboxes, you must choose the correct hybrid variant available. Currently, only Classic Full Hybrid is the supported variant for Microsoft Teams. While the other hybrid options allow a functional hybrid operation for your on-premises Exchange organization with Exchange Online, Microsoft Teams will not be able to access the on-premises mailboxes with those options.</P> <P><BR />The implementation of Classic Full Hybrid results in the following requirements for your on-premises IT infrastructure:</P> <UL> <LI>The on-premises Exchange Server versions must be Exchange Server 2016 or Exchange Server 2019 with lastest cumulative updates applied</LI> <LI>The Exchange organization must be directly accessible from the Internet by HTTPS</LI> <LI>The public Exchange endpoint must be discoverable by AutoDiscover</LI> <LI>The on-premises Exchange Servers can communicate with Exchange Online Protection directly using SMTP</LI> </UL> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG><FONT size="5">What is the meaning of "direct communication" in this context?</FONT></STRONG><BR />The Exchange Client Access endpoints are published to the Internet through a reverse proxy or similar solution and use an official TLS certificate to secure connections. The SMTP mail-flow connection is either through Exchange Edge Transport Server on the perimeter network (variant A, recommended) or directly between Exchange Online and your local Exchange servers (variant B). The following diagram illustrates the HTTPS and SMTP connections.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Diagram-B.png" style="width: 677px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Diagram-B.png" alt="Diagram B: Hybrid Configuration" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Diagram B: Hybrid Configuration</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Microsoft Teams access essays to users' mailboxes through Microsoft Teams Backend Services. These components use AutoDiscover V2 and Modern Authentication for the discovery of and authentication to your on-premises Exchange servers. This authentication method requires that you implement the configuration recommendations provided by the Exchange Product Group as described <A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A>. Implement this configuration after executing HCW.</P> <P><BR />The basis of an Exchange Hybrid configuration is the synchronization of your on-premises Active Directory with Azure AD with Azure AD Connect. Most likely, you're already using Azure AD Connect. An Exchange hybrid operation requires that you enable the Exchange Hybrid option in the Azure AD Connect configuration. If you're not already using Azure AD Connect, the HCW gives you the ability to install and configure Azure AD Connect in the Express version. I strongly recommend that you manually install and configure the latest version of Azure AD Connect. Always use the customized configuration when setting up Azure AD Connect.</P> <P><BR />For stable and secure operation of your Exchange Hybrid configuration, make sure that your on-premises Exchange Servers always run a supported version Exchange Server. This is the only way to ensure that the Exchange features used by Microsoft Teams, Exchange Online, and other Microsoft 365 services interact correctly with your on-premises environment.</P> <P><BR />With a properly configured Exchange hybrid configuration, you can use Microsoft Teams with on-premises Exchange mailboxes easily.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Enjoy Microsoft Teams with Exchange Server.</P> Wed, 15 Jul 2020 06:00:00 GMT Thomas Stensitzki 2020-07-15T06:00:00Z How to do “breakout rooms” in Microsoft Teams – a real life example <P>I’m pretty sure no one missed the rapid increase in remote working during the first half of 2020. Something that also became very clear in the <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Teams UserVoice</A> were entries that were pretty unknown before rapidly rose in number of votes.</P> <P><BR />One of those entries that I’d like to talk about today is breakout rooms – you know the possibility to have a group of people in a meeting, then automagically move them to separate “rooms” and when you’re finished automagically get all the participants back to the original meeting. Microsoft recently announced that breakout rooms are actually on it’s way, sometime during this fall it will be available – <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here you can read more</A>.</P> <P><BR />But I needed the feature now and not later, wherefore I searched for the clever ideas from the Microsoft Teams community. With inspiration from <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Vesku’s</A> <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">blog post</A> I decided to try this at my new client, follow along the rest of this post where I show you how I did it!</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Background</STRONG> </FONT><BR />A virtual workshop with 27 participants, in an organization new to Microsoft Teams (besides using meetings and chat for a couple of weeks). Jumping back and forth between the “main room” and breakout rooms between exercises.</P> <P><BR />This could be exciting – right <img class="lia-deferred-image lia-image-emoji" src="" alt=":cool:" title=":cool:" />.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Before the workshop</STRONG></FONT><BR />Let’s start with the prerequisites, and it’s pretty simple - you need a private team in Microsoft Teams.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="1.png" style="width: 391px;"><img src=";px=400" role="button" title="1.png" alt="1.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>The next step is very important and that is to NOT invite the participants to the team before you’ve done all the preparations. We don’t want annoyed people getting 1 million calendar invites even before the workshop started. I sent one calendar invite in which I copied the meeting link to the general main room.</P> <P><BR />And time for prepping, first some “technical” preparations:</P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">1. I added a channel per discussion group. For my particular case we ended with 5 breakout rooms and the general channel as the main room. I made all the channels standard channels, no need to have private channels *transparency*</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="2.png" style="width: 400px;"><img src=";px=400" role="button" title="2.png" alt="2.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">2. I didn’t find changing the general team settings necessary, but you can do it to remove the possibility of doing anything besides what is needed for the workshop. I removed all options besides deleting and editing posts</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="3.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="3.png" alt="3.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">3. When we have all the channels it’s time to fill them with content, I added a friendly welcome message. Since everyone in the workshop can jump into any channel, I decided to post all names of the group members to make it easier for the users</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="4.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="4.png" alt="4.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">4. Then it’s time to create all the different meeting rooms. One channel meeting is the same as a meeting room, so we’ll start with a common room – that needs to be scheduled in the general channel. Just add the channel and no participants</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="5.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="5.png" alt="5.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>And then it’s just time to schedule a meeting group room per group, when you’re done it should look something like this in your calendar:</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="6.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="6.png" alt="6.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>And this is how it should look in the channels (this is the general room and a group room):</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="7.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="7.png" alt="7.png" /></span></P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="8.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="8.png" alt="8.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">5. When all of this was done it’s ok to add all the participants, I waited until the day before to add the participants to avoid too much happening in the team</P> <P><BR />And then we did a couple of preparations for the users, to ensure that the workshop experience would be as smooth as possible for the participants:</P> <P class="lia-indent-padding-left-30px">1. Since the users were new to teams in Microsoft Teams, I prepared a guide on how to join the meetings and how to switch between the general room and the group rooms<BR />2. We assigned the different groups before and informed the participant about this is your group, so all the people would know what group room to join<BR />3. For each group, a note taker was assigned, this person got the material before and knew that she/he would take all the notes during the exercises</P> <P><BR />After the preparations were done it was just time to wait&nbsp;<img class="lia-deferred-image lia-image-emoji" src="" alt=":smile:" title=":smile:" />.</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>During the workshop</STRONG> </FONT><BR />Fast forward a couple of weeks and it was finally time for the anticipated workshop!</P> <P><BR />Me and my co-presenter met 30 minutes early to start all the meetings, this to get the nice joining experience for all the participants. But note that you can only be in four meetings at the same time.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="9.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="9.png" alt="9.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Another thing I found important during the meeting (and that I would recommend for most larger meetings) was having a moderator. Someone that will keep track of the chat when the presenter is presenting, makes it much easier.</P> <P><BR />Once all the people joined it was time to start.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="10.png" style="width: 267px;"><img src=";px=400" role="button" title="10.png" alt="10.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Since this was a group of people not usually working together, we started with a presentation of everyone, tricky you might say? We solved it by going A-Ö by last name and my co-presenter giving the word to the person next in line. It worked super smoothly.</P> <P><BR />And the workshop was in full speed!</P> <P><BR />One last thing that I believe was a success factor for this workshop was that before all the groups went to discuss in their own rooms, we asked to assign a timekeeper to keep track of the time. And you know what? People were on time and we didn’t spend too much time waiting at all&nbsp;<img class="lia-deferred-image lia-image-emoji" src="" alt=":lol:" title=":lol:" />. Fantastic.</P> <P>Three hours passed in a minute and the workshop was over, with lots of great insights delivered.</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Conclusion</STRONG></FONT><BR />I was really impressed with how smooth it went. Only technical issues we had was with people joining from the mobile since the jumping between meetings isn’t working there. When I do it again, I will probably add a help section on how to do it from mobile.</P> <P><BR />And don’t forget to follow the <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">UserVoice for live updates about breakout rooms</A>&nbsp;<img class="lia-deferred-image lia-image-emoji" src="" alt=":happyface:" title=":happyface:" />!</P> Wed, 08 Jul 2020 15:00:00 GMT Amanda_Sterner 2020-07-08T15:00:00Z 5 Tips for migrating existing Line of Business applications to Microsoft Teams you can do today <P>I hope you are doing well, as we all adjust to a different style of work. Three months in and we’re all starting to become a bit more familiar with working from home, or possibly living at work. Microsoft Teams has enabled us all to stay connected, to keep in contact with each other and to continue to collaborate on projects. For many businesses however, there are some systems which don’t work well off the corporate network, if at all. Getting access to those can be challenging now, and impact productivity.</P> <P><BR />Even before our enforced period of remote working started, making users switch from their collaboration space – Microsoft Teams – and into another system just to find a specific piece of information or action an item, took time and effort. Wouldn’t it be better if those systems could be integrated into Microsoft Teams and form part of the conversation users are already having?</P> <P><BR />The good news is that this is all possible today! Microsoft Teams has a rich development platform to enable integration with other systems. Whether you are a developer or not, there are things you can do today to bring your line of business applications into Microsoft Teams and make your users more productive.</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Tip 1 – PowerShell Cards</STRONG></FONT><BR />This is for the IT Admins, who right now are struggling to keep track of what is running where, what’s stopped working and which legacy line of business applications are critical to keeping the business operational. If you’re one of these people, likely you have PowerShell scripts performing scheduled tasks or responding to events. Using a simple piece of PowerShell code, you can notify yourself and others about progress or errors in Microsoft Teams. By creating a custom connector in Microsoft Teams and then calling the URL provided with a JSON body, you can send well-formatted Cards to a specific Teams channel. This is a 15-minute task which can bring visibility to back-end processes and act as an early-warning system of any problems. Sample code at: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> <P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Tip 2 – QnA Maker</STRONG></FONT><BR />QnA Maker is a no-code way to build simple but powerful QnA bots which can answer user questions. Simply provide information from an existing FAQ document, website, spreadsheet or product manual and QnA Maker will analyse it to create a knowledge base of question-answer pairs. Then, it will apply natural language processing to that knowledge base so that when users ask a question, even if it isn’t worded exactly right, they still get the correct answer. There’s no coding required, and you can be up and running in half a day. Use QnA Maker for policies, protocols, instructions, how-tos and common customer questions. If you want to take it further you can add multi-turn conversations and improve the model by analyzing how it’s used, via the web portal. Find out more at <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="1 - QnAMaker.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="1 - QnAMaker.png" alt="1 - QnAMaker.png" /></span></P> <P><BR /><STRONG><FONT size="5">Tip 3 – Bot Framework Composer</FONT></STRONG><BR />I’m a big fan of the Bot Framework to easily build bots that can then be accessed from multiple places, including Microsoft Teams. Bots make the perfect interface to legacy line of business applications which don’t work on the web or on mobile. With a bot that can enable users to interact with those applications to complete tasks, suddenly your legacy application is securely accessible in Teams, on desktop, web and mobile.</P> <P><BR />Now, there’s a GUI to make getting started even easier! The Bot Framework Composer enables you to quickly build a custom bot by combining different pieces of functionality together, like building blocks. Whether it’s asking the user for input, calling an API or having the user log on, each block is configurable and let’s you quickly build whatever you need. At any point you can download the code used behind the scenes and make adjustments or integrate into a larger project.</P> <P><BR />The Bot Framework Composer is an excellent training resource for developers as well because you can see how each block is written to fully understand what’s happening. Or, use it as a design tool for developers and non-developers to collaborate in. Try it for your next Bot Framework project – I guarantee you’ll be impressed. Find out more at: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="2 - Bot Framework Composer.png" style="width: 314px;"><img src=";px=400" role="button" title="2 - Bot Framework Composer.png" alt="2 - Bot Framework Composer.png" /></span></P> <P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Tip 4 – Power Virtual Agents</STRONG></FONT><BR />For citizen developers, the Bot Framework Composer might not be the right tool or might require too much of a time investment. If you’re a fan of Power Automate for just getting stuff done (I am), then you’re going to love this. Power Virtual Agents are bots that you build using a guided, no-code interface which can directly execute Power Automate Flows. This makes them perfect for subject matter experts who can build bots without needing developers to help. For the best of both worlds, a Power Virtual Agent bot can use Skills built using Bot Framework, meaning that developers can build composable parts for complex functionality that’s specific to the business, and then SMEs can simply drop them into their bot flow as needed. Find out more at: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> <P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Tip 5 – App Templates</STRONG></FONT><BR />What if I told you that there existed a collection of production-ready applications for Microsoft Teams which covered common business scenarios and improved productivity and communication. Then, what if I told you that these applications were written by Microsoft, open-sourced, fully documented and freely available? That’s App Templates for Microsoft Teams!</P> <P><BR />There are over 20 different apps available. Choose from Incident Reporter, Incentives, HR Support, and more. Each app has detailed deployment instructions to install in your Azure tenant. You can deploy them without needing to know anything about how they work by simply following the instructions. If you’re a developer (or just interested) you can also look at the source code, configure and change them, even brand them for your organisation. Whether you use App Templates as proof of concept to understand how users might interact with line of business applications through Teams, as front-end experience for your existing line of business application, or even as a full replacement, they’re an incredibly useful and powerful tool to have. Find out more at: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="3 - App Templates.png" style="width: 628px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="3 - App Templates.png" alt="3 - App Templates.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Those are my five tips for how both developers and non-developers together can migrate line of business applications to Microsoft Teams. With these tips you can enhance what Teams means to users in your organisation, by giving them access to data from disparate systems across your estate, right within Teams. Empower your users to be more productive by bringing this data to Microsoft Teams, enabling them to collaborate around it and achieve more.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> Wed, 01 Jul 2020 07:00:00 GMT Tom Morgan 2020-07-01T07:00:00Z Taking advantage of Microsoft Planner and Teams for collaboration ease <P>As the world generally is in a point of a digital limbo, digital transformation rapidly took place across all the segments of the world industrial sectors in just 3-4 months.</P> <P><BR />The Pandemic opened us to various new ways to work, live and exist, and this was across all segments; government, private sector, public sector, enterprises and small businesses.</P> <P><BR />The sense of collaboration become very essential and needed in the digital space and the injection of Microsoft Teams to this unplanned wave and its ability to meet expectations was laudable.</P> <P><BR />However, there is still need for increased ease in collaboration, especially for these times. One of the Microsoft apps that can play this vital role is Microsoft Planner. Now, how do we take advantage of this tool to ease our collaboration in Teams.</P> <P><BR />One major setback to teamwork is the inability to get work done on time and with an organized approach but Microsoft Planner makes it easy for your team to create new plans, organize it properly, assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><BR /><FONT size="5"><STRONG>What is plan and why do we need to Plan?</STRONG></FONT><BR />A plan is typically any diagram or list of steps with details of timing and resources, used to achieve an objective. Why do we need to plan then? According to McKinsey &amp; Company, in their published article on the Strategic Principles for Competing in the Digital Age, “digital capabilities increasingly will determine which companies create or lose value.” Every team needs to have a plan to execute their task in a timely, coordinated and productive manner. This bring us to introduce Microsoft Planner, which is not project management solution but a feel of it to enhance productivity within a collaborative environment.</P> <P><BR />Microsoft Planner enable users and teams to create plans, assemble and assign tasks, share files, communicate and collaborate with other users, and receive progress updates via various means on the Office 365 platform. Each new plan created in Planner automatically creates a new Office 365 group.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="1.jpg" style="width: 960px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="1.jpg" alt="1.jpg" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Microsoft Planner Advantage for Collaboration</STRONG> </FONT><BR />One of the advantages of Microsoft planner is that it is easy to use and makes organization of work or task to be quick.</P> <P><BR />The planner can be launched from the Microsoft 365 app launcher with a single click. You can then create a new plan, build a team, assign tasks, and update status—in a few easy steps.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="3.jpg" style="width: 670px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="3.jpg" alt="Fig. 1.1 Stay organized by creating tasks" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Fig. 1.1 Stay organized by creating tasks</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Planner plans has its own board, where you can organize tasks into buckets. This can also categorized tasks based on their status or on whom they’re assigned to. To update the status or change assignments, just drag and drop tasks between columns.</P> <P><BR />Let us define some terms that we will be using as we go on:</P> <UL> <LI><STRONG>Tasks:</STRONG> a piece of work to be done or undertaken at a given time.</LI> <LI><STRONG>Buckets:</STRONG> heelps in sorting your tasks; after adding tasks, you can sort them into buckets to help break things up into phases, types of work, departments, or whatever makes the most sense for your plan.</LI> <LI><STRONG>Status:</STRONG> the position of affairs at a time, in Microsoft planner we have 3 different status; not started, in progress and completed</LI> <LI><STRONG>Assigned to:</STRONG> when you're ready to decide who's doing what, you select people to a task.</LI> <LI><STRONG>Board:</STRONG> where you can organize tasks into buckets. You can categorize tasks based on their status</LI> <LI><STRONG>Schedule:</STRONG> view to see tasks on a calendar</LI> <LI><STRONG>Charts:</STRONG> Graphical view to see how your work is progressing.</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="4.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="4.png" alt="Fig 1.2 Overview of a Planner" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Fig 1.2 Overview of a Planner</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>How to Access Microsoft Planner</STRONG> </FONT><BR />How do we access Microsoft Planner? We can access planner through the M365 app launcher on <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Office 365</A> or via the Microsoft Teams’ apps on the navigation bar.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="5.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="5.png" alt="Fig 1.3 Planner Launcher from M365" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Fig 1.3 Planner Launcher from M365</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="6.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="6.png" alt="Fig 1.4 Planner on the Web" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Fig 1.4 Planner on the Web</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="7.1.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="7.1.png" alt="Fig 1.5 Planner on Microsoft Team" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Fig 1.5 Planner on Microsoft Team</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG><FONT size="5">TEAMWORK - A Factor For Collaboration </FONT></STRONG></P> <P>One of the major features for every teamwork or collaboration essential is to be able to work. A digital workplace is usually sprout up by the efforts of team members.</P> <P><BR />Microsoft Planner is a task view that provides a comprehensive list of all your tasks and their status across all your plans. When working together on a plan, team members always know who is working on what and they can easily track and follow up on various activities. This makes work very visible and transparent with the team build up.</P> <P><BR />Sometimes collaboration needs to be streamlined to segments of a specific task. Planner is built on M365 apps and for M365, so it lets you attach files to specific tasks, work together on those files, and even have conversations around tasks without switching between apps.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="8.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="8.png" alt="Fig 1.6 Planner Bucket view on the Web and on Microsoft Teams" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Fig 1.6 Planner Bucket view on the Web and on Microsoft Teams</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Seamlessly across all your devices</STRONG></FONT><BR />The value of any application in the digital age is to be able to work across various devices out there. Planner works across all your devices and can get everyone on the same page. A glance at Charts is all it takes to know where things stand and to see if the team is making enough progress towards its goal.</P> <P><BR />Because it runs on M365 apps , you will receive email notifications whenever you’re assigned a new task or added to a conversation.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="9.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="9.png" alt="Fig 1.7 Planner on Mobile devices" /><span class="lia-inline-image-caption" onclick="event.preventDefault();">Fig 1.7 Planner on Mobile devices</span></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Microsoft Planner Plus Microsoft Team</STRONG> </FONT><BR />The best way to maximize and give Planner visibility within the team is to add it to Microsoft Teams.</P> <P><BR />Planner integrates collaboration experiences across Office 365. In addition to Planner web and mobile clients, users can view and update Planner plans and tasks from within SharePoint and Microsoft Teams. Planner itself is also powered by the Microsoft Graph and the Office 365 group service</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>In summary, Microsoft Planner is a task management solution for teams. It is an online subscription service offered as part of Office 365. Planner can create tasks as cards, assign them to team members, and organize them into buckets or columns. It is an easy way to get organized, and to collaborate across platforms.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>References for Further Reading</STRONG> <BR />Video: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Schedule view in Microsoft Planner</A>&nbsp;<BR />Video + Doc: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Planner Calendar in Outlook</A></P> <P>YouTube Video: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Create a plan with Planner in Teams</A><BR />Blog: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Planner hands-on demonstration</A><BR />Ignite Session: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Planner in M365</A><BR />Video + Doc: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Use Planner in Microsoft Teams</A><BR /><BR /></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="11.png" style="width: 127px;"><img src=";px=200" role="button" title="11.png" alt="11.png" /></span></P> <P><U><STRONG>About Me</STRONG></U><BR /><STRONG>Name:</STRONG> Oluwaseyi Oluwawumiju<BR /><STRONG>Email:</STRONG> &nbsp;<BR /><STRONG>Twitter:</STRONG> <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">@soluwawumiju</A><BR /><STRONG>Linkedin:</STRONG> <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A><BR /><STRONG>Website:</STRONG> <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A><BR /><STRONG>Blog:</STRONG> <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A></P> <P><BR /><U><STRONG>About the Writer</STRONG></U><BR />Oluwawumiju Oluwaseyi is a Technical consultant with Convenant Technologies and he also an MCT, MVP and the MCT Regional Lead for Nigeria. Convenant Technologies is a Certified Partner with Microsoft in Lagos, Nigeria. He is also a senior consulting partner for Convenant Technologies on Microsoft infrastructure with over 19 years’ experience and also a fellow of the institute of information Management, Africa; one of the highest honors for management of data. Prior to joining Convenant Technologies, Seyi was a senior technical consultant and support manager for 1st Intellit solution, where he led outsourcing team development and new client systems. It is in view of the evolving market for IT in Africa, that he deemed it highly necessary honing his traditional product knowledge expertise to meet this current trend. Suffice it to say, that championing campaign for SharePoint, Window server, Yammer, Cloud technologies (Azure), office 365 and Microsoft Teams is Seyi's focus and the mainstay of his business interest in WECA.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> Wed, 24 Jun 2020 15:01:00 GMT seyi Oluwawumiju 2020-06-24T15:01:00Z Let’s get ready for your next Microsoft Teams Live Event <P class="lia-align-justify">You have successfully scheduled your next virtual event using Microsoft Teams and are wondering what’s next? In this blog post I’d like to share my experiences with you as well as useful tips on how to successfully host an online event using Microsoft Teams Live Events. I will show you how we hosted public online knowledge-sharing sessions with our company, how we divided roles and responsibilities and our actions prior, during and after the live event.</P> <P class="lia-align-justify">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><STRONG><FONT size="5">Define the basics</FONT></STRONG></P> <P class="lia-align-justify">First, we started with confirming the speakers (internal from our company). Who will present at the live event and on what day and time is everyone available? We also checked not to overlap with any other (major) online events. We started brainstorming about different topics within Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 – which is the expertise and knowledge of our team. Instead of us deciding on the actual topics of the session, we ran a poll on our social media channels to let the audience decide what topic they would like us to cover. This is a great way to engage your audience from the very beginning and give your followers the opportunity to choose what you will talk about in your session.</P> <P class="lia-align-justify">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="1.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="1.png" alt="1.png" /></span></P> <P class="lia-align-justify">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-align-justify">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Schedule the Teams Live Event</STRONG></FONT></P> <P class="lia-align-justify">Once the speakers, the date, time and topics are defined, we scheduled the online event using Microsoft Teams Live Events. In case you haven’t set up a Microsoft Teams Live Event before, <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">this explanatory video</A> from Microsoft Cloud Advocate Sarah Lean gives you a step-by-step walkthrough on how to configure a live event using Microsoft Teams. I personally find the platform very user-friendly and within just a few clicks you can easily set-up your own event. (To host/produce a live event using Microsoft Teams, you need a Microsoft or Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, or E5 license or an Office 365 Education A3 or A5 license, find out more <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A>)</P> <P class="lia-align-justify">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-align-justify">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Spread the Word</STRONG></FONT></P> <P class="lia-align-justify">Now that the event is scheduled, we can start getting the word out there. First, we create a page on our company website with all the event details such as speaker information, session titles, session abstracts as well as the registration button for attendees to sign up using <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Forms</A>. We can then share the link to our website via our social media channels as well as via an email invite to our database inviting our network to join the live event. As you would like to reach a bigger audience than your own database / social media followers only, it can be very helpful to look for relevant social media groups around your topic(s) to announce your event in dedicated groups. When you post about your event on social media, make sure you use hashtags on your event topics to make your posts better visible inside and outside of your network to a relevant audience following that certain hashtag. For example, our session is about Windows Virtual Desktop, so we include hashtags #WindowsVirtualDesktop and #WVD so the event post appears on the timeline for people interested in these topics. If you’re hosting a community event, you can also add your online event to the Microsoft Tech Community by going to <EM><A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">events</A> -&gt; community events -&gt; submit event</EM>. Your event will then be visible (after approval) within the Microsoft Tech Community and will show up in the list of upcoming events including the URL to your own website / registration form.</P> <P class="lia-align-justify">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="2.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="2.png" alt="2.png" /></span></P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><EM><STRONG>Tip:</STRONG></EM> use a URL shortener for your Microsoft Teams “Join Live Event link” which you share with your attendees, so in case you need to change something – you can simply take care of this without having to send out a brand new URL to your participants.</P> <P class="lia-align-justify">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-align-justify">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Make sure you run a test</STRONG></FONT></P> <P class="lia-align-justify">Now that the registration process is flowing and our event is being announced through different ways, we can work on our next steps to prepare for the live event. What I believe is very important is to test the Microsoft Teams Live Event with your team ahead of time prior to the event. You don’t want to be testing for the first time in your actual live session and run into any issues or unclarities. We therefore schedule a test Teams Live Event using the exact same set-up as if it would be the actual live event. We test everything; if everyone (from the producers/presenters) knows how to share a screen, turn on/off the camera, mute/unmute the mic, how we push content to the live stream, how we switch between sessions and breaks, how to jump from slides to live demos, as well as how the Microsoft Teams Live Event Q&amp;A feature works. You want everything to run as smooth as possible in the backend and your audience to experience a well-prepared event once you go live. I find it’s very easy to “be in control of the buttons” as everything you need to do (e.g. send content live, mute/unmute speakers), is clearly shown on your screen in Microsoft Teams.</P> <P class="lia-align-justify">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Divide roles and responsibilities for the live event</STRONG></FONT></P> <P class="lia-align-justify">Ideally, you are not a single person presenting during the event and at the same time ensuring all logistics are running smoothly and monitoring the Q&amp;A. If you have the possibility, assign the “producer” role to a person who doesn't need to present a session at the same time, so this person can fully focus on controlling the buttons, e.g. welcoming attendees, monitoring the Q&amp;A and ensuring all technicalities are running smooth for your event. It’s also a good idea to have a back-up channel (for example a Microsoft Teams chat outside of the live event or a WhatsApp group chat) where you can communicate just in case you would run into any issues during the live event. In our live online sessions, I took care of the producer role taking the lead of the logistics of the event as well as welcoming our attendees and sharing basic house rules e.g. how participants can ask questions, how the agenda of the event looks like and relevant information like: if the session is being recorded, how to get in touch with the speakers afterwards and other relevant info to the participants. This way, the speakers can fully focus on their presentation parts without having to worry about the other of the event. However, as it’s so easy to operate Microsoft Teams Live Events, you could handle it on your own in case you are hosting the event alone and doing the presentation(s). In this case not to be distracted during your session presenting and monitoring questions at the same time, you can keep the Q&amp;A for the end of your session to browse through the questions from the Q&amp;A chat and answer them in the end.&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-align-justify">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-align-justify">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><FONT size="5"><STRONG>We're going live in 3...2...1.....!</STRONG></FONT></P> <P class="lia-align-justify">It’s the day of the online event and I have to admit, that I did feel a little bit nervous hosting the virtual event using Microsoft Teams Live Events for the first time. Would I be able to control everything, will I not run into any technical issues? We agreed with our team to call into the Microsoft Teams Live Event 30 minutes prior to the event starts, so that we can ensure we are in on time, and once more check that everything is working properly. Once we are ready with the final test, we click “start the live event” (approx. 15 minutes before the event starts) showing a welcome slide as attendees drop in. Include the name of your event as well as the starting time and any other additional information you would like to show for attendees who "arrive at your event". For example, your Twitter handle or the hashtag you’d like your participants to use when posting about your event on social media.</P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><BR />Once your event is running and your speakers are presenting, there’s not much you need to do anymore in Microsoft Teams itself as a producer in terms of controlling buttons. Everything should run smoothly so you can focus for example on monitoring and answering the questions in the Q&amp;A.</P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><BR />If you are hosting multiple sessions during the live event, allow a short break in between the presentations so you can switch between speakers, as well as give your audience a short break before the next presentation starts.</P> <P class="lia-align-justify">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="Isi Teams Live Event.jpg" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="Isi Teams Live Event.jpg" alt="Isi Teams Live Event.jpg" /></span></P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><BR /><EM><STRONG>Presentation tip:</STRONG></EM> As it might feel unusual to present in front of a camera during a live online event where you can’t see your audience, I recommend to read <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">this blog post</A> by Microsoft Cloud Advocate Sonia Cuff where she shares useful tips and tricks when presenting online.</P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><SPAN data-contrast="auto">&nbsp;</SPAN><SPAN data-ccp-props="{&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335551550&quot;:6,&quot;335551620&quot;:6,&quot;335559739&quot;:160,&quot;335559740&quot;:259}">&nbsp;</SPAN></P> <P class="lia-align-justify">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><FONT size="5"><STRONG>After the live event</STRONG></FONT></P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><SPAN data-ccp-props="{&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335551550&quot;:6,&quot;335551620&quot;:6,&quot;335559739&quot;:160,&quot;335559740&quot;:259}">Once we are finished with our sessions, we can now focus on our follow-up activities. With Microsoft Teams Live Events you can download the recording, export the attendees and Q&amp;A report (if enabled during the initial set-up of your live event) and use this to further engage with your audience. We send out a thank you email to the participants with call to actions, including a link to the session recordings or session slide decks. You might want to collect feedback from your attendees on the presentations (e.g. on the content and speakers) and also here we use <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Forms</A> to create a feedback form and gather that data. I highly recommend you do this first follow-up shortly after the live event when the experience is still fresh in the attendees’ memories. Lastly, we internally re-cap on the event, what went well, what not and learn what we can do better next time.</SPAN></P> <P class="lia-align-justify">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-align-justify">&nbsp;</P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Plan your next event</STRONG></FONT></P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><SPAN data-ccp-props="{&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335551550&quot;:6,&quot;335551620&quot;:6,&quot;335559739&quot;:160,&quot;335559740&quot;:259}">If you are looking to host your own virtual sessions, I can recommend using Microsoft Teams Live Events: it’s easy to set-up the event, as well as to operate during the live session and export the data you need afterwards.&nbsp;</SPAN></P> <P class="lia-align-justify"><SPAN data-ccp-props="{&quot;201341983&quot;:0,&quot;335551550&quot;:6,&quot;335551620&quot;:6,&quot;335559739&quot;:160,&quot;335559740&quot;:259}"><BR />For technical documentation and trainings on how to use Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Teams Live Events, you can always check out the official Microsoft documentation at <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Docs</A> and <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Learn</A> or the community conversations around <A href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Teams</A>&nbsp;here in the Microsoft Tech Community.&nbsp;In case you have any questions about my experiences using Microsoft Teams Live Events, feel free to let me know in the comments below.</SPAN></P> Wed, 24 Jun 2020 15:01:00 GMT Isi87 2020-06-24T15:01:00Z Getting Started and Deploying Microsoft Teams Calling Plans <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="calling logo 2.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="calling logo 2.png" alt="calling logo 2.png" /></span></P> <P>With more and more organizations working from home, the need for a single cloud-based phone system is higher than ever. With the amazing features of Microsoft Teams such as team collaboration, messaging, and meetings, it is sensible to also have your phone system integrated in one unified application. This guide will go over the steps required to configure your Microsoft 365 tenant to allow your users to make calls using Microsoft Teams without any on-premises infrastructure.</P> <P><BR /><STRONG>NOTE:</STRONG> If your organization is looking at using an on-premises PSTN, refer to my <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">blog on deploying Direct Routing with Microsoft Teams</A>.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>This guide will be broken down into three main sections:</P> <UL> <LI>Planning &amp; Prerequisites</LI> <LI>Setup Process</LI> <LI>Testing &amp; Validation</LI> </UL> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Planning &amp; Prerequisites</STRONG></FONT><BR /><STRONG>What are Calling Plans?</STRONG><BR />Calling Plans is Microsoft’s solution to provide connectivity to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) within Microsoft Teams. Calling Plans enable organizations to do this without requiring the customer to have any on-premises infrastructure. Calling Plans can be assigned to both Users and Resource Accounts for use with Auto Attendants and Call Queues.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Benefits of Calling Plans with Microsoft Teams</STRONG><BR />When calling plans are used with Microsoft Teams, and organization can see many benefits</P> <UL> <LI>Fast setup and provisioning without any user interruption</LI> <LI>Users are no longer coming into your organization, they are going out over known ports <UL> <LI>Simplified Firewall Configuration, no inbound requirements</LI> <LI>No SSL certificates required</LI> <LI>No on-premises SBC’s</LI> </UL> </LI> <LI>Most voice features can be configured in the Teams Admin Center GUI instead of only being able to use PowerShell in a Direct Routing scenario</LI> <LI>Can be used in conjunction with Direct Routing <UL> <LI>Some users in countries where Calling Plans are not available can use direct routing. Additionally, it can be configured where certain destination DID’s use an on-premises SBC for some calls where all others route out using Direct Routing.</LI> </UL> </LI> <LI>Single bill to pay <UL> <LI>No longer paying the SIP provider, SBC licensing, costs</LI> </UL> </LI> </UL> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Determine which Calling Plan license is best for your users</STRONG><BR />Microsoft Offers two different calling plans in the United States: Domestic ($12 per user per month) and Domestic &amp; International ($24 per user per month). The Domestic and International Calling Plans both add 3000 domestic minutes each to the tenant pool, but the international plan also adds 1200 minutes to Europe and 600 minutes to all other countries.</P> <P><BR />Learn how to choose and purchase a Microsoft Calling Plan with this documentation on <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Calling Plans for Microsoft 365</A>.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Licensing Requirements</STRONG><BR />In order to use Calling Plans with Microsoft Teams, an organization must have one of the following licensing models:</P> <UL> <LI>Small Business Plan with the Business Voice add-on license <UL> <LI>Use this when the organization is smaller than 300 users and/or when Small Business licenses are used</LI> <LI>Includes a phone system, domestic calling plan, and audio-conferencing license</LI> </UL> </LI> <LI>Office 365 E1/E3 with the Phone System &amp; Calling Plans add-on licenses <UL> <LI>Use this when the organization is larger than 300 users and/or when E1/E3 licenses are in use.</LI> <LI>Dial-in Audio Conferencing is a separate add-on. Consider upgrading to an E5.</LI> </UL> </LI> <LI>Office 365 E5 with a Calling Plan add-on license <UL> <LI>Simplified license counts (Just two licenses to assign to users)</LI> <LI>E5’s includes a phone system and audio-conferencing licensing.</LI> </UL> </LI> </UL> <P><STRONG>NOTE:</STRONG> If Direct Routing is being used by itself for all calls, the calling plan licenses are not needed.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>DID Migration</STRONG><BR />With Calling Plans, Microsoft will become your PSTN provider. If your organization wishes to keep its existing DIDs, they must be ported over to Microsoft. In order to learn how to port numbers to Microsoft and learn about what a port order is, please refer <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A>.&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Calling Plans Availability</STRONG><BR />Note that Calling Plans are only available in certain countries and regions. Verify beforehand that they are available in your region by clicking the dropdown at the top of <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">this page</A>.&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><FONT size="5"><STRONG>Setup Process</STRONG></FONT><BR /><STRONG>Step 1: User Licensing</STRONG><BR />The first step in the setup process is to ensure that your users are assigned the license requirements that were defined in the Planning &amp; Prerequisites &gt; Licensing Requirements section of this guide. To assign licenses to users follow the below steps:</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>1. Navigate to the <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft 365 Admin Center</A> and then click <STRONG>Users &gt; Active Users</STRONG> on the left-hand navigation pane</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="1.1.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="1.1.png" alt="1.1.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>2. Select the user(s) that you would like to modify the licensing of and then click <STRONG>Manage Product Licenses</STRONG> across the top</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="2.png" style="width: 962px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="2.png" alt="2.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>3. The <STRONG>Manage Product Licenses</STRONG> pane will open on the right-hand side. In this window select whether you would like to fully replace the user’s existing licensing or just add additional licensing to the user and then click <STRONG>Next</STRONG></P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="3.1.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="3.1.png" alt="3.1.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>4. Assign the previously defined &amp; required licensing to the users. In this scenario, I am enabling a Microsoft 365 Business Standard license and a Microsoft 365 Business Voice license. After your selection process is complete, select <STRONG>Save Changes</STRONG></P> <P><STRONG><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="4.1.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="4.1.png" alt="4.1.png" /></span></STRONG></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Step 2: User Coexistence Modes</STRONG><BR />To ensure that calls flow to Microsoft Teams, all users of a calling plan MUST be set in the Teams Only coexistence mode. Note that this will only work for customers that do not have any on-premises infrastructure. If you are moving from on-premises Skype for Business Server to the cloud, please refer to my blog <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A>.&nbsp;</P> <P><BR />In order to do change the tenant’s coexistence mode, follow the below steps. Note that doing so will disable all users from using Skype for Business Online:</P> <P><BR />1. Log into the <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Teams Admin Center</A>&nbsp;as a global admin</P> <P><BR />2. Once signed in, click on <STRONG>Org-wide settings &gt; Teams Upgrade</STRONG> in the navigation pane<STRONG><BR /></STRONG></P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="5.1.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="5.1.png" alt="5.1.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>3.&nbsp;Look for the section labeled <STRONG>Coexistence Mode</STRONG>, select <STRONG>Teams Only</STRONG>, and then click the purple <STRONG>Save</STRONG> button</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="6.png" style="width: 958px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="6.png" alt="6.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>If any users had their coexistence mode changed from the tenant default, they will need to be changed to Teams Only. An added benefit of changing each user to the <STRONG>Teams Only</STRONG> coexistence mode at the user level instead of the tenant level is that the meetings migration service will convert any Skype for Business Meeting scheduled by the user to a Teams Meeting within a few hours of the mode changing.</P> <P><BR />To change a user’s individual coexistence mode to Teams Only, follow the below steps:</P> <P><BR />1. Log into the <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Teams Admin Center</A>&nbsp;as a global admin</P> <P><BR />2. Once signed in, click on <STRONG>Users</STRONG> in the navigation pane</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="7.1.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="7.1.png" alt="7.1.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>3. On the <STRONG>Users</STRONG> page, select the user(s) that you would like to change and then click the <STRONG>Edit Settings</STRONG> button</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="8.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="8.png" alt="8.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>4. The <STRONG>Edit Settings</STRONG> pane will open on the right-hand side of the webpage. At the bottom of the list there is a section labeled <STRONG>Teams Upgrade</STRONG>. Change the dropdown to either <STRONG>Use Org-Wide Settings</STRONG> (Default) or <STRONG>Teams Only</STRONG>. Once this is selected, click <STRONG>Apply</STRONG> to save your changes.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="9.1.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="9.1.png" alt="9.1.png" /></span></P> <P><STRONG>Note:</STRONG> A field will pop up asking if you want to migrate the user’s meetings to Microsoft Teams</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Step 3: Acquire Phone Numbers</STRONG><BR />Microsoft provides 3 different ways for organizations to get phone numbers in their Microsoft 365 tenant. Two ways that this guide will not cover are more advanced and in-depth. These include porting the numbers over to Microsoft and a request form for bulk DID purchases. This guide will cover the most common and simple method of using the Teams Admin Center.</P> <P><BR />In order to acquire brand new DIDs from Microsoft, follow the below steps:</P> <P><BR />1. Log into the <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Teams Admin Center</A>&nbsp;as a global admin</P> <P><BR />2. Once signed in, click on <STRONG>Voice &gt; Phone Numbers</STRONG> in the navigation pane and then click the <STRONG>+ Add</STRONG> button</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="10.1.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="10.1.png" alt="10.1.png" /></span></P> <P><STRONG>Note:</STRONG> If the <STRONG>Phone Numbers</STRONG> section does not appear, the tenant has not finished provisioning its newly added Phone System licensing. Please allow up to 24 hours for this to appear.</P> <P><BR />3. Once the Get Phone Numbers page opens, Microsoft is going to require some information. The required fields are as listed:</P> <P><BR />a. Order Name</P> <UL> <LI>Name the order to something that you can identify such as “Florida Office IT Users”</LI> </UL> <P>b. Description</P> <UL> <LI>Give the order a description that expands on the Order Name such as “All Florida IT Users in Migration Batch 1”</LI> </UL> <P>c. Country or Region</P> <UL> <LI>The Country or Region that you are requesting the numbers from</LI> </UL> <P>d. Number Type</P> <UL> <LI>Multiple Number Types exist for Resource Accounts and User Accounts. In this case we are only focusing on Users and should only use a <STRONG>User (Subscriber)</STRONG> license.</LI> </UL> <P>e. Location</P> <UL> <LI>This is the usage location of the DID. These can be defined beforehand or can be defined in this wizard by clicking the <STRONG>Add a location</STRONG> button to the right of the field. Make sure you type the <STRONG>City Name</STRONG> here and not the location name itself</LI> </UL> <P>f. Area Code</P> <UL> <LI>Select an area code that is available at the service address requested.</LI> </UL> <P>g. Quantity</P> <UL> <LI>This is how many DIDs you are requesting from that location. If there are 50 users at a location, you may want to acquire 60 so you have a few extras for growth.</LI> </UL> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="11.png" style="width: 933px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="11.png" alt="11.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>4. After clicking <STRONG>Next</STRONG>, Microsoft will search for DIDs that are available and then list the DIDs. You will have 10 minutes to reserve the phone numbers before they are released back to the pool. If you are okay with the DIDs that are listed, click <STRONG>Place Order</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="12.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="12.png" alt="12.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>5. A confirmation window will appear, click <STRONG>Finish</STRONG></P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="13.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="13.png" alt="13.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>6. Once the wizard closes, click on Voice &gt; Phone Numbers in the navigation pane and you will now see the phone numbers that were just acquired.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Step 4: Assign Phone Numbers to Users</STRONG><BR />Now that the DIDs have been acquired and are available in the tenant, we can begin to assign these to our users.</P> <P><BR />In order to assign the DIDs to users follow the below steps:</P> <P><BR />1. Log into the <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Microsoft Teams Admin Center</A>&nbsp;as a global admin</P> <P><BR />2. Once signed in, click on <STRONG>Voice &gt; Phone Numbers</STRONG> in the navigation pane. Click on a user phone number that you wish to assign and then click <STRONG>Edit</STRONG></P> <P><STRONG><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="14.png" style="width: 782px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="14.png" alt="14.png" /></span></STRONG></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>3. The Edit window will open on the right-hand side. Assign the user that the DID is to be assigned to, set the emergency location if it is not already set, and then click <STRONG>Apply</STRONG>.</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="15.1.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="15.1.png" alt="15.1.png" /></span></P> <P><STRONG>Note:</STRONG> If the <STRONG>Email User</STRONG> with… box is selected, the user will receive an email like the one below that contains the users DID and lets the user know that they are now able to make phone calls in Microsoft Teams</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="16.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="16.png" alt="16.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Step 5: Auto Attendants and Call Queues (Optional)</STRONG><BR />If your organization requires Auto Attendants and Call Queues for use with Microsoft Teams, please refer to my blog post to configure these and be sure to the use the Calling Plan topology. The blog post is available <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A>.&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG><FONT size="5">Testing &amp; Validation</FONT></STRONG><BR /><STRONG>Functional Validation Testing (FVT)</STRONG><BR />A Full FVT should be completed after deployment that covers Auto Attendants, Call Queues, Inbound/Outbound Domestic and International Calls, and more. A Full FVT will test every function such as each menu in an Auto Attendant, Voicemail works, etc. Build a list that meets the requirements of your organization.</P> <P><BR /><STRONG>End-User Testing</STRONG><BR />From an end-user’s perspective, their Teams client should now have a dial pad inside the Microsoft Teams Client’s calling app. This will state the user’s assigned DID above the dial pad itself. An example of what the Teams Client looks like after this change can be seen below:</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="17.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="17.png" alt="17.png" /></span></P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Desk Phones</STRONG><BR />Another area to validate is that user desk phones can make and receive calls. Sign into a Microsoft Teams Certified Phone and verify full functionality.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P><STRONG>Congratulations!</STRONG><BR />Microsoft Teams Calling Plans have now been deployed and the voice functionality of Microsoft Teams can now be explored! Be sure to check out my other how-to guides on my blog at <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</A>.&nbsp;</P> <P><span class="lia-inline-image-display-wrapper lia-image-align-inline" image-alt="calling logo 2.png" style="width: 999px;"><img src=";px=999" role="button" title="calling logo 2.png" alt="calling logo 2.png" /></span></P> Wed, 24 Jun 2020 15:01:00 GMT Eric Marsi 2020-06-24T15:01:00Z Welcome to the Microsoft Teams Community Blog Space <P>Welcome to the Microsoft Teams Community Blog. This is a space dedicated to community contributors sharing thoughts, experiences, and knowledge around Microsoft Teams. Community is a pretty amazing thing to be a part of. Here, you have the opportunity to collaborate with some extremely smart people who are passionate about learning, passionate about sharing, and passionate about Microsoft Teams.&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>One of the greatest things about this space is being able to hear different perspectives and experiences from people all around the globe. As I read through the Tech Community discussion boards about the different ways you're using Teams, I've learned so much. Several times, I've reached out to individuals to better understand their use-case and other times discussions between some of you introduce a completely new scenario that gets our team thinking about features to assist you in the work you're doing. I hope this new blog space is a place where many of you will expand on the way you're using Teams. I hope you'll use it as a way to share how you solved complex problems with others, and I hope those of you reading will learn something by hearing from other community members.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Microsoft Teams has seen tremendous growth of the last 3 years, and, certainly over the past few months as so many people move to a virtual work or classroom environment. It has been wonderful seeing the outpouring of Tech Community members responding to questions from those using the technology for the first time or from admins rolling out Teams to a broad set of users. Microsoft Teams values our community members and the wealth of experiences so many of you have been willing to share. Don't underestimate the importance of sharing a tip or a trick in the discussion boards. Many times the thing we think everyone knows is the answer someone else needed at just the right time. I urge you to use the discussion boards to proactively share the new and different things you are using Teams for.&nbsp;&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Check out our current community contributions in the new blog space, here: <A href="#" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></A>.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>If you're interested in being a community guest blogger, we'd sure love to have you. Let us know what you want to share by going to the form here: <A href="#" target="_blank"></A>. In the meantime, happy reading. Comment, discuss, and keep the conversations going. We are all so much better, together.</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>~Laurie Pottmeyer</P> <P>Microsoft Teams Community Lead</P> <P>Microsoft Teams Engineering</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> Thu, 25 Jun 2020 17:28:01 GMT Laurie Pottmeyer 2020-06-25T17:28:01Z